x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Summer lethargy brings a chance for positive change

The summer season usually brings with it an element of laziness that wafts through the workplace. What should you do about it? Manar Al Hinai takes a look.

The lazy days of summer can be energised by taking on a new project. Lauren Lancaster / The National
The lazy days of summer can be energised by taking on a new project. Lauren Lancaster / The National

The summer season usually brings with it an element of laziness that washes all over the workplace.

It is at about this time of the year that my friends arrive late to work, sleep-deprived, and constantly suggest that just like schools, companies in the UAE should have a summer vacation and shut down for a couple of months.

"The silence at work is so irritating. I feel sleepy all the time. I don't even know why we're here," is a common moan.

The attitude is highly contagious, and even though I am an energetic, "morning" person, I begin to feel apathetic just listening to them.

It would be nice to think you are going to be just as excited about going to work tomorrow as you were on your first day in the job.

However, between laziness caused by our unbearably hot weather, the extra workload that you have to take on because of colleagues going on holiday, or the fact that you have done the same job for a while, you may well be feeling fatigued and in need of a change.

But what should you do in such a situation?

Telling yourself to get excited over the same old thing never works. I have tried. And while looking for another job might seem like the perfect option, let's face it, terrific jobs are hard to find and you may not have the energy to embark on such a venture that could take months to complete.

What I found useful is doing something different - specifically, starting something outside of work.

It is ironic that to become more excited about your job, you need to do something outside of it.

It could be starting a small business that you have always fantasised about or something that could lead to undertaking that, such as signing up for business classes. It could also be something artistic, or a hobby you always wanted to try, such as finally starting to write that novel, learning to play the piano, or volunteering at a hospital.

It doesn't matter what it is you want to do. They key is to take a small step towards what you think you want, without much cost either in time or any other resource. As with any new project, you want to stay within your acceptable loss limits.

How did that work for me?

A little over a year ago, I started to feel tired at work. I knew I needed to create a change in my life to get rid of this feeling, and I decided to finally approach a newspaper to publish my writing as well as finally start to learn Spanish.

Before I knew it, I was a columnist at The National, and I was also enjoying my audio-learning books.

You may wonder how that makes you happier at work. It is simple. Some of the excitement you have for your projects outside of work is going to carry over into your work environment.

You will be in a happier mood, and automatically be more productive. Making progress in things that you want to do makes you happier. Guaranteed.

After my transformation I became more energised, and I looked forward to see what my day would bring. I even began suggesting more ideas and projects to my manager.

Just by initiating change, you will have started down the road that could lead you to starting a successful business, or mastering a new skill. This will always be good news in the long run because you have proved to yourself that you know how to create something new.

Every small action you take causes a change in your reality. Every action could teach you a valuable lesson. Before you know it, you could be on a new and happier course. But it won't happen unless you act.

Manar Al Hinai is an Emirati fashion designer and writer. Twitter: @manar_alhinai