Summer workdays aren’t easy. Long summer nights and short summer mornings can leave you scrambling to make it to work on time. Still, better mornings aren’t just about making it to work on time but getting to work refreshed and prepared. Making your 9:00am clock-in means nothing if you’re dozing off by 9:05, or ill-prepared for your meeting at 9:30. Here are some life hacks for a productive morning and a productive workday.
1. Ditch the frying pan for fruit.
Not only is cooking during the summer incredibly time consuming, but hovering over a pan in smoking-hot weather will only make you sweat yourself back into exhaustion. For a breakfast that’s quick and refreshing, try high-fiber fruits like strawberries, bananas, oranges, and apples. They’re filling and contain natural sugars that are bound to wake you up. A side of Chobani doesn’t hurt either!
2. Stay close to an air conditioner or fan.
You can’t do anything about those hot summer temperatures, but you can take measures to prevent excessive sweating. Stay close to air conditioner or fan throughout your morning. Also, try to sit down when possible instead of constantly being on your feet. As lazy as it sounds, if you sit down while brushing your teeth, doing your makeup, or fixing your hair, you’re less likely to pace and work up a sweat.
3. Listen to motivational or pump-up music.
Of course, there will be mornings when you don’t even want to go to your summer job or internship. For some of you, this may be every morning. If work – or an exterior circumstance – is kicking your you-know-what, music is a great way to keep yourself motivated and remind yourself to push forward. Summer is just one season, but a summer internship can launch your career.
4. Send out any important e-mails.
Summer may mean a summer job but it can also mean free time to apply to scholarships, internships, or other academic programs for the fall. Treat your contacts like they have operating hours because chances are, they do. Sending out e-mails before going to work (preferably between 7:00am-12:00pm) means your contact is more likely to respond, since you’re giving them the entire workday to peruse its content. Also, morning brain is real, so don’t forget to proofread!
5. Watch/read the news.
Whether it’s while eating breakfast, doing your makeup, or even brushing your teeth, find time to watch the news. Not only is this vital for those of us working in communications, but it’s a huge conversation starter in the office. Getting to know employees can be intimidating, even after a few weeks on the job. Still, discussing what’s going on in the world is a good way to learn more about your coworkers and their outlook on life. Check VocaLady, turn up your radio, or listen to a news brief on your phone.
6. Keep your hair in a protective state for as long as possible.
Looks don’t matter, but we all know how mad we’d be if humidity had its way with our hair. Whether your hair is in a top-knot, rollers, or hidden beneath a silk scarf, keep your hair in a protective state for as long as possible. This will prevent you from sweating your hair out and prevent your style from losing its definition.
7. Don’t put on your work clothes until the last minute.
Getting dressed should be the final factor of the work morning, but between forgetting your keys, phone, or folder, it’s usually not. To prevent your work clothes from going through a struggle that could’ve been prevented – coffee stains, sweat marks, the unfortunate lipstick-on-sleeve-caused-by-sneeze blunder – wear a simple muscle tee and shorts combo until you’re certain that you are ready to leave. Your $30 work shirt will thank you later.
8. Flip flop your commute.
Even flats can get uncomfortable sometimes. Small shifts like a shoe change can do a lot to make your morning more tolerable. Carry your work shoes in your purse and wear flip-flops or sneakers for your commute. You never know how long your ride will take and chances are, you’re not going to beat that lady with a stroller for a seat. Just make sure to switch to your work shoes before you enter the office.
9. Review tasks from the day prior.
Just because your schedule stays the same doesn’t mean your tasks do. Take a minute or two to go over notes or documents from the day prior. This will give you a general idea of your tasks for the new day and will lead you to be more productive than you would’ve been had you been scrambling to figure them out while at work. It will also make you seem more alert to your boss or supervisor.
10. Offer to grab coffee/tea/breakfast for your supervisor.
Don’t be the person who walks into the office with their morning fix without hooking a sister up. Even if your internship doesn’t require you to be the certified Office Coffee Woman, it doesn’t hurt to ask your supervisor if he/she needs anything, just as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your punctuality. This will show your boss or supervisor that you’re considerate and good with taking instructions.
Work mornings can be rough, but a successful workday depends on a productive morning. Make the most of your minutes. You’ll thank yourself later.