Depending on where you live, winter can be so cold that it’s tempting to become a recluse. Instead of turning in and hibernating on your social life, work deliverables, and personal goals, power through this seasonal slump. By summoning your mental tenacity, you can shift your energy toward productivity. When spring breaks through, you’ll be able to look back at your winter efforts, proud of all you’ve accomplished.
1. Set Goals That Inspire You
Goal setting at work is necessary, but so is setting goals for yourself as a human. The key to actually accomplishing those objectives is to be energized at the idea of pursuing them. While you can’t always choose your work goals, you can shift your perspective.
If your digital marketing team wants to improve email open and click rates, work to personify why this metric matters. Maybe an open or a click means that a reader has logged onto their account, improving their odds of engagement. Perhaps their digital action can be traced to a sale, improving your bottom line and earning your team a bonus.
The key here is to relate your goal to what matters most to you. When your goal aligns with your motivations and interests, you increase your likelihood of achieving it.
2. Structure Your Schedule to Flow With Your Energy
Seasonal depression is real. Waking up and arriving home from work without seeing sunlight on either end is enough to lower anyone’s mood. Consider shifting your schedule to help you take advantage of both the settings and times you’re most productive. Some organizations encourage asynchronous work, where team members put in their expected work hours but at times that work best for them.
If you adopt this practice, you can start your workday early (or log some hours after dinner), reserving daylight hours for other activities. Use this time to take a walk, run errands, or do household chores. Try to avoid screens; you’ll be back online before you know it. By breaking up your workday, you can leverage your most productive hours and return to your labors refreshed.
3. Fuel and Move Your Body Well
Stews and other hearty meals are great, but too many of them can weigh you down. Try to manage a balanced diet where you’re enjoying both comforting meals and nutritious whole foods. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are out of season and more expensive in the winter. Shift to winter seasonals like squashes, potatoes, greens, and citrus, or purchase frozen fruits like berries to incorporate variety. A healthy diet will help ward off the sluggishness that can sap your productivity.
If you typically exercise outside, prepare to brave the cold with weather-appropriate outerwear. Getting outdoors may be uncomfortable at first, but once you get moving, you’ll quickly warm up. If you prefer staying inside, check YouTube or your favorite fitness app for indoor-friendly workouts, many of which are equipment-free. Committing to a daily workout will give you the energy you need to strive toward your goals.
4. Take Time to Rest and Recharge
When it comes to recharging our batteries, different people turn to different things. While some might feel rested with a nap, others would want to listen to their favorite artists and calm themselves down. There is no hard or fast rule when it comes to resting. Some prefer watching a movie or catching up on the latest tv series that has been released on RARBG before they go off to sleep. At the end of the day, it depends on who you are and what do you prefer.
You may already be spending more time inside, but what does that time look like? If you’re camped out on the couch, drowning in streaming series, you may not actually be relaxing. Most computer-using people experience eye strain, exacerbated by the screens we use for practically everything we do. Try to incorporate downtime that avoids screens to allow your body and brain to reset.
Pick up a hobby like painting or crochet to keep your mind and fingers busy. Draw a hot bath, drop in a bath bomb, and listen to relaxing music. Practice mediation by using an audio recording to guide you. Indulge in a cup of caffeine-free tea and a square of dark chocolate as you unwind from the day. Focusing on releasing the day’s tension can allow you to start the next day with renewed vigor.
5. Create Plans to Look Forward To
While you want to live in the now, it’s energizing and exciting to have things to look forward to. Create momentum by setting milestones, organizing meetings with friends, and even planning trips. Many of these actions can help inspire you to act on your goals during the days leading up to them.
If you’ve planned a beach trip, you may be inspired to stick to your health routine. If you’re planning on hosting a gathering, you may finally be motivated to tackle your messy guest room.
At work, you can set celebration milestones that encourage your team to meet or even surpass their goals. Making plans can reduce anxiety, which can run rampant during the winter months. Practice planning for both work and home and see how your productivity and mood improve.
Tools Can Support Your Productivity Efforts
Apps, lists, and other tools can give you the nudge you need to get work and life tasks done. At work, consider project management tools like Asana, Microsoft Teams, or ClickUp. These tech aids allow you to identify tasks and set deadlines and alerts. By planning out the steps needed to complete your work, you can gain momentum simply by ticking the boxes. Goals often feel more achievable when you break them down into manageable pieces.
If you’d prefer a less formal approach, a handwritten list can give you the tactile satisfaction of crossing things off. When your day is done, your list of completed tasks may just inspire you to keep up your newfound productivity. Pursuing productivity, even during the winter months, can make a world of difference as you work toward your goals.
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