In Britain, over the last few days we have been hit by a heatwave. From what I have been told, southern USA is boiling as well. It is nice to get away from our normal depressing, drizzly, grey weather, but it has brought its problems. Along with extra large women wearing nothing, which is one of the problems, we, as freelancers, are finding it hard to concentrate on our projects in such heat. It may seem like a minor issue, but believe me, the weather can have adverse affects on your productivity. I have, therefore, prepared for you below, seven ways of beating the hot weather.
1. Your Office
If you, like many freelancers, have a home office and work on a laptop, you may want to take your laptop to a cool room in the heatwave (common sense, really). Find the coolest room in the house (this is usually the room on the north side of the house and on the ground floor) and work there. Remember from your high school Physics – hot air rises so an attic would be the worst place to be whilst trying to work.
For those of who you are unfortunate enough to be working on a desktop in these weather conditions in a hot room, just follow what seems fit from these tips.
2. Changes to your Workspace
I have air conditioning installed in my room. This is an absolute waste of money, if you live in Britain, as the sun only comes out a few days in the year (it’s true). Depending on where you live in the USA, you will be the best judge of whether this is a good investment or not. However, do get a desk-top fan. This can provide a gentle breeze as you work and help you remain cool. Word of warning here. Try to ensure that you do not sit too long directly in the face of the fan. This can cause muscular pain and have other adverse reactions when you go out in the heat again.
By cooling yourself down so much that your entire body becomes cold, your body will think “Right it is cold now, I need to warm up” and will react by conducting reactions which favor heating your body up. When you go out in the sun soon after, your body will continue warming you up because of the cold experience previously, and the beaming sun will be warming you up – which means you’ll end up very, very hot.
3. Working out in the sun
Something which I enjoy and I am sure you will also is to take my laptop into my colorful garden and sit on the grass working away while my children play on the swings and slides (getting their knees grazed, obviously). From experience, this is an incredibly relaxing thing to do and I definitely recommend it. It proves to be extremely relaxing, and not only can you enjoy the sun but spend passive time with family, whilst getting work done.
However, another word of warning. Try to avoid hours of intense heat when you do this (approx. 11am to 3pm), and also make sure you’re wearing sun cream if you burn easily.
4. Windows and Curtains/Blinds
While working try opening up all the windows of the house if there’s a breeze outside. This will soothe the intense heat built-up in your home due to a kind of ‘green house effect’ that the insulation of the house may be inducing. The problem is that opening windows may allow a lot of heat in as well, so if you feel outside is warmer than inside, don’t do this. Extreme sunlight may also become a big distraction (well, happens to me), so be sure to draw your blinds/curtains if need be.
Dehydration can cause you to lose concentration or feel faint. In such levels of heat you’ll be sweating a lot (eew!) - however the water can only be replaced through drinking, and no, NOT by drinking Pepsi! Carbonated drinks are carbonated for a reason, this is because they give the body a temporary sensation of quencing thirst, but you become thirsty very quickly soon after. Constantly drink water throughout the day while working. If you do not like water, then try a diluted drink like Ribena.
Take more breaks than you usually do. Sitting in one place for long periods of time can make you very hot and sticky which can prove to be very irritable. In your breaks, wash your face, hands, and arms, this will help cool you down. It may also be a good idea to take quick, regular showers. Again, be cautious not to take a very cold shower as you will end up accidentally telling your body “I am cold” and in reaction the body will try to warm you up once you’re out in the sun again.
7. Hay Fever
If you suffer from ‘Hay Fever’ (an allergy of pollen), the summer can be one of the most irritating times of the year. A simple window being open can cause a continous flury of sneezing, and cause headaches. Working with a stuffy nose, headache, constant sneezing and watery eyes means bye bye to productivity, or any work getting done for that matter.
Buy some ‘Non-Drowsy’ allergy relief medicine. This can be a simple solution, and it does work. This will help you fight the symptoms and continue working. Consult your doctor if you feel you’re having abnormal side effects to the drug, as some allergy medicines can cause one to feel faint.
Something you may want to try, if you have ‘Hay Fever’, is to eat a spoon of local honey, twice a day. Remember, honey is made by a honey bee, which makes it from pollen (the source of the allergic reaction). Therefore, honey may prove to have the cure to it by simple homeopathic logic.
Extreme weather conditions can cause adverse, weird reactions and problems. Keep an eye out for elderly people in particular as they are prone to disease and other medical conditions. Also, keep in mind that not only you will find it hot, but your pets will too – ensure they have a good source of water and get them out of their kennel etc. so they too can enjoy the weather and keep cool.
That’s all folks!
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