How to Be Productive Over the Summer (and Still Get the Sleep You Need)
Summer is calling and I must go. OK, so that’s not exactly how the quote goes, but it’s true nonetheless, isn’t it? When the days are long, work days and to-do lists feel even longer. So how can you stay focused and be productive over the summer? The same hacks that help you learn how to be more productive in winter can also help during warmer months.
Read on to learn how to be more productive at work — and at home — when the sunshine beckons and you’d rather be at the beach.
1. Remind yourself of your “why.”
Sure, paychecks and being able to pay for things like food and a home are important reasons why we work. But on a day-to-day basis when you feel major FOMO (fear of missing out) due to being stuck at your job, give your mindset a reset.
Focus on why you need to be productive today and use your time wisely: If I can wrap up by 5, I can make it to the group bike ride. If I can finish this report before noon, I can grab lunch with the girls at that cute little bistro with a patio. If I finish up the chores around the house, I can meet Mallory for a run before picking the kids up.
2. Change your scenery.
While some tasks and roles require a specific environment, others are more flexible. If you’re able, pick a spot that lets you work while soaking up some warmth. Layer on your SPF, don a hat and take your laptop to your back porch. Or open the blinds and sit near an open window to feel warm, fresh air. These little sneak peeks at the beautiful weather might help you power through that project.
3. Don’t overdo the cold brew.
Iced coffee just hits differently. With no risk of burning your tongue (and, thus, no need to sip slowly and cautiously), you can take down a jumbo-size coffee in record time. But once that coffee hits, you’ll feel it — and when you tip the scales on the balance between feeling energized and feeling wound up, good luck trying to focus!
But guess what? You can brew Good Morning Sunshine™ as an iced coffee, too! Simply brew over ice according to your machine’s instructions, using the smaller cup button, then add your favorite creamer. Each cool cup is infused with our organic red ginseng extract, so you can fight fatigue with more than just caffeine.* It’s a smooth and delicious way to jump-start your day. As a bonus, red ginseng is an adaptogen that helps you manage stress over the long term.*
4. Go to bed on time.
The sun sets later and later in summer, until it peaks on the Summer Solstice (June 21). In some parts of the country, the “official” sunset time could be as late as 9:15 or 9:30 p.m., with the waning rays lasting nearly another hour. Good luck trying to wind down when your brain sees sunlight so late — and if you’re pushing bedtime out, that makes early wake-ups more of a challenge!
In summer, Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strips with Melatonin and Calm Down™ Herbal Blend is your bedtime BFF. (And our mulberry silk sleep mask is your 2nd BFF, since it helps block out light!) Slip one onto your tongue a few minutes before you want to go to sleep. Let the minty herbal strip melt, swallow, then drift off. When you get the sleep you need, you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle tomorrow’s to-do list.*
5. Take breaks.
You don’t need to “earn” rest. Human beings are not machines — and you are entitled to as much rest as you need. (We know, we know. Try telling that to your boss, your kids or the piles of laundry that will never fold themselves.) But science backs this up: If you want to be more productive, you need to work less.
Research supports working in blocks of up to 90 minutes, with breaks in between. Use those breaks to sneak in some sunshine! A walk around the block or around the parking lot may also help you feel more refreshed.
6. Stay comfortable.
It’s not your personality or work ethic that make it harder to concentrate when the temperature rises. It’s the heat! Being too warm is not conducive to making complicated decisions. If you’re struggling to focus and stay on task because your office is a sauna, start by making your environment more comfortable. Central HVAC systems mean cranking the air conditioning might not be an option. But could you sip on cool water, get a cooling seat cushion or turn on a small fan nearby? Closing the blinds during the hottest hours of the day can also help.
7. Drink more water.
Have you ever seen those memes that say something like “humans are 90% water, so we’re basically just cucumbers with feelings”? When we’re thirsty, that’s a sign that we might already be mildly dehydrated, which can also impact focus and productivity.
Even if you don’t notice you’re sweating, the higher temps in summer will increase your hydration needs. Set a timer or buy a big, insulated water bottle and aim to fill it twice a day.
8. Change up what and when you’re eating.
Traditional Chinese Medicine encourages us to eat differently to support our mind and body from season to season. In summer, that means eating lighter foods that are cooling. Your go-to lunch of a meatball sub or big bowl of leftovers might not hit the spot in June the same way it does in November. Instead, swap in a salad or even a smoothie. You might also experiment with eating a bigger breakfast and lighter lunch, since the earlier hours tend to be cooler.
9. Cut yourself some slack.
It is completely normal for you to have on days and off days when it comes to productivity. If you’re someone who’s really impacted by the heat, take a peek and the five-day forecast when planning your week. Then, adjust as needed. Reschedule your outdoor workouts for cooler days. Clear your afternoon of high-intensity tasks if you need to be on-site with a client during peak heat hours. Take care of yourself — and manage your energy with Good Morning Sunshine™ at the start of your day and Hello Dreams™ at the end.