Look outside the window and tell me what you see. If you’re living in the Northern hemisphere, you most likely see the heavy grey clouds filling the sky and no ray of sunshine in sight. Most probably, it is raining or snowing, and the weather is dull and cold. This image doesn’t motivate you to get up earlier to have some time for yourself before work or do some outside activity once the 9-5 program is over. Just the thought of getting hit by the cold air makes you want to snuggle under the blanket and never leave the bed.
Even though we know that the weather shouldn’t be a buzz killer, how can we focus on work when we start and end our day with artificial light? Just as days are shorter, productivity decreases, which is something no one wants, especially when winter is here to stay for two more months, to say the least. We all have online meetings to attend, hundreds of emails to reply to, and, nonetheless, the scariest of them all: deadlines to meet.
If you’re lucky and live on the sunny side of the world, there are many jealous people of you right now because you don’t need anything else than a short walk outside to clear your head, boost your energy and get back to work.
But the rest of us are probably working from an improvised home office due to the pandemic and spend the after-hours wasting time until it’s bedtime again. To break free from this circle, we need extra help to get us back on our feet.
If we listen to the doctors, we have to ensure that our vitamin and mineral intake are under control because the lack of a healthy and balanced diet can cause drowsiness. If our health is at a maximum level, we must motivate ourselves and stop blaming the weather for our fatigue.
To find our motivation, we first need to answer this question: What are the secrets of being productive and getting work done during the wintertime?
The editorial team of the graphic design platform, Bannersnack, has responded to this question. Luckily, their article about winter productivity offers more than one solution to our problem, boasting 11 tips on escaping this winter fatigue from leading marketing experts.
You can find their answers below.
Jay Acunzo, Founder at Marketing Showrunners, tells us that the right way to surpass our frustration, and our other negative feelings, is by looking at things from a different perspective and transforming our problems into motivators to change the world for the better.
A great tip comes from Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media Studios INC, who thinks writing down and tracking your goals for a more visual approach can help you be more productive and consistent. His advice is based on the fact that he wrote on a graph paper, his goal, and hung it on the wall. He checked on the form the days in which he made progress, which can be a great way to visualize your daily process.
As the weather gets colder, people start their winter holidays early, which leaves you with less time spent in meetings, and with a lot of time on hand to invest in your business, says Jay Baer, the founder at Convince and Convert. We may add that living somewhere where you can’t enjoy things you do in the warmer seasons (like boating, outside sports, having picnics) should make you more productive as you can stay focused instead of thinking of what you will do after the working hours.
Lauren Branich, Director of Digital Marketing and Business Development at NewsCenter1 Media Group, makes us think about stressful times as a professional challenge we must overcome. Her secret consists of waking up a bit earlier to look through the work calendar and visualize how her day will be. This way, she can remember what she wants to discuss in meetings and add more points to her to-do lists if needed.
Thinking about the importance of mindfulness, Margaret Petta, Digital Marketing Specialist at Rocket Digital, suggests that small breaks of fresh cold winter air can help you clear your mind and boost your productivity level. Before the pandemic, it would have been nice to take the lunch breaks together with our colleagues to become friends with one another. It might have helped with our creative side. In these times, we can as well do this online with the help of online video conferences.
Planning is everything, thinks Heidi Cohen, Chief Marketing Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide. Planning your personal and professional life can make you more productive, and this way, you can keep track of your improvements. She thinks it’s best to keep in mind three crucial goals. One of them is journaling to clear your mind of all your thoughts, another one is physical exercises even when you can’t go to the gym, and last but not least, make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Bjarke Bekhøj, Direktør, Partner at Become ApS believes in an equilibrium between work and breaks. Breaks can be a walk in the park or staying up to date with your competitor’s updates. Watching what your opponents are doing might help you find new creative ways to make your work better.
Be aware of your energy levels and focus on work when you feel more productive, says Marijana Kay, freelance SaaS content marketer. She feels more productive in the morning when her creativity is at its highest peak. Doing otherwise can only lead to procrastination and more work undone. So when procrastination feels neverending, take some time off to recharge yourself and then get back on track.
An Internet break is what Andréa Jones, Social Media Strategist suggests. Turn off all notifications and set yourself a task to check the social media accounts once a day. When you stop scrolling, you’ll have more time to focus on getting work done. Moreover, you will also have more time for yourself to read a book or watch a TV show to boost your creative flow.
Listen to your mind and body, and don’t force yourself to work because you’ll end up being unproductive, says Brittany Berger, Founder at Work Brighter and Content Marketing Strategist. Take a break before doing something that will take a lot of focus to refresh your mind. You will be amazed at how much it will help.
Doriana Antohi, Product Marketing Specialist at Bannersnack, advises us to plan everything at the beginning of the week and stick to the schedule. Make sure to add extra minutes to each task if things might take longer than initially thought is another excellent tip that Doriana Antohi reveals. Once the working hours are done, switch off and enjoy time with family or do something you love for a change.
If you look again outside your window, the weather hasn’t probably changed, but these tips you just read about being more focused and productive can be your silver lining during this winter time or anytime you need them.
What are your secrets on how to stay productive during the wintertime?
There can never be too many useful tips, so please tell us in the comments section below.
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