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How to dress smart for a freezing cold office in the summer

How to dress smart for a freezing cold office in the summer

Summertime is great, as it allows you to wear all those silky, fluffy dresses and skirts, as you flash some bronzed skin. In the summertime you get to show off all that time you’ve spent sweating in the gym over the winter, It paid off and you have a toned body. Oh, the sun, the ice creams, the tanning sessions, the UGGs for office.

Oh, yes! In summer the office turns into a freezing environment where no one could possibly type without gloves and a thick, wool blanket on her knees. At least, this is the case for women, who happen to make up a lot of the current workforce stuck in cold offices, which were designed for men.

The AC as the symbol of the patriarchal force

If you ever thought the cold offices are fit for a penguin more than a working woman dressed for summertime, you are right. Somewhat…

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An actual study revealed that AC systems in the offices are using temperature settings and guidelines of the 1960s! Moreover, those were designed for middle-aged, 154 pound man, dressed in a complete suit, sometimes along with a vest. That’s right, your office is cold because the managers are sticking to old, patriarchal guidelines.

Apart from the fact modern women are far from wearing Don Draper’s outfits at the office, men and women are simply different when it comes to temperature. Joost Van Hoof explains that the physiology of women, who are smaller in size and have more body fat than a man, is making them lose more heat, quicker. Instead of addressing this problem, most CEOs just went with the flow and let the AC system numb their female worker’s fingers, even if this decreases their productivity.

A study found that raising the office temperature from 68 degrees to 77 degrees increases the productivity by 150% and decreases the number of the typos by 44%.

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Sadly, office manager are still to solve this common AC problem, but until they do it, you may want to stop shivering on your desk, so here are some solutions to keep you warm for the day.

The solutions to stop freezing

Now that you know why you are freezing at the office, let’s see what we can do about it. The simple solution would be to dress with warmer clothes, but summer prevents you from doing this. Luckily, there are some solutions for the AC problem.

1. Layering

Layering is the most accessible way to keep yourself warm in the freezing office. You can keep a cardigan at the office, on your chair, to have it close when your knees are in need of a warm fabric or you need to cover your shoulders with something.

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If you don’t want to leave your beloved cardigan or another clothing item at office, you can gamble on smart office combos which can be peeled off or layered on, depending on the conditions. For inspiration, I gathered four types of combos you can wear at the office on a hot summer day.

  1. A skirt with a sleeveless top and a cardigan. A circle skirt is going to be office appropriate and will provide you comfort on a hot day, but it will also help you keep your knees warm, as they are usually covered by the skirt. Pair it with a sleeveless top, preferably made from a breathable fabric and you are ready to hit the streets. Before you leave your home pack a cardigan and layer it on when you get at the AC blasting office.
  2. The second option you have is to keep the top and the cardigan and go with a pencil skirt. It may look more office appropriate, but it can be pretty hard to wear on hot days. To counteract this, look for pencil skirts made of light fabrics, in light colors.
  3. The third option here are pants. A skinny fit is not advisable on hot days, so go for a loose fitting, which allows the air to caress your skin when you walk. They can easily be paired with a flowy top and an open pullover, to allow you to stay warm inside your cold office.
  4. Dresses and blazers. If you are not into skirts, you can match a dress with a blazer. Pick a light, breezily dress, made of chiffon or another light fabric. Then, pair it with a blazer. To pull off this outfit you need to pay attention to color matching, as the dress might be too light for wearing it with a blazer. The best option is to gamble on light colors for both the dress and the blazer.

2. Closed shoes

Summer is the season when us girls like to show off our amazing legs, which means we often wear open shoes. Well, if you want to be warm at the office, opt for a pair of closed shoes, which can keep your feet warm. If you can, pick shoes that can be paired with socks, if your feet become numb over the day, due to the AC problem.

If you can keep a pair of shoes at work, buy summer boots and keep a pair of socks in them, so you can slip from your fashionable shoes into the boots when you arrive at the office. Suede summer boots in nude can be accessorized with pretty much any outfit without becoming an eye sore, which makes them a good investment.

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When you wear a skirt or a dress, stockings are going to help you keep your legs warm, so don’t skip them. If you choose really thin stockings, they will be invisible and will allow you to feel comfortable outside, in the hot weather.

3. Scarves

Apart from the feet, your neck is very sensitive to cold, so wearing a scarf is going to keep you warm in your cold office. A silk scarf is easy to keep in your bag and won’t destroy your outfit when you wrap it around your neck. Silk is especially great for wrapping your neck, because this fabric is thin and is able to trap the body heat.

Another great tip for keeping your neck warm is leaving your hair down your shoulders. If you have a long mane, style it in such way you can leave it down when you arrive at the office.

Featured photo credit: Nicola Albertini/RedLips via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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