There’s something about the winter months that just makes you want to curl up under the covers and hit the snooze button. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s cold when you get out from under the blankets. Or because when you look outside it’s still dark. Possibly it’s because you’re fighting off a cold. Probably, it’s a combination of all of the above.
Winter doesn’t mean that you can stop working or even slow down. You just have to dig a little deeper to get going and keep going. So consider these ideas when the winter weather gets you down.
Wake Up Early
The longer you stay in bed, the less likely you’re going to be motivated to get up and get to work. What’s more, setting the tone early is going to make you more productive throughout the day. According to a study by the University of Barcelona, people who get up early are more persistent, resistant to fatigue, and have the ability to bounce back faster when faced with adversity.
Exercise First Thing
I know this one is cringe-worthy, especially since I just told you to get up early, but it works. Aside from getting it out of the way and off your to-do list, exercising in the morning also gets your brain jumpstarted for the workday. A 2018 post on the Harvard Health Blog pointed out that exercise releases chemicals in the brain “that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.”
What’s more, a study by the University of British Columbia found if you do regular aerobic exercise — the kind that makes you sweat and gets your heart pumping — you increase the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain that helps with verbal and memory learning.
Get Out of the House
I work at home and sometimes I just can’t focus on work when I’m there. I see the dishes, the laundry, the episode of Grey’s Anatomy I haven’t watched yet on my DVR (yes, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy) and I find something else to do. When that happens, I get out of the house. I head to my local coffee shop, or even better my local library. I find a quiet corner and I get to work. The distractions are gone and I’m practically forced to get down to the business of writing.
If you find your mind wandering, get out!
Find a Shared Workspace
If you can find it, a shared workspace may be a great investment, especially in the winter months. It’s like going to the office, even though you’re an army of one (or a few). A shared workspace is an area that’s rented out by a group of solopreneurs. Everyone gets a desk and a place to do their work. They often share a water cooler and a break room. They don’t work collaboratively, but it offers an office atmosphere.
You may find that surrounding yourself by people who work hard, motivates you to work hard too.
The To-Do List
For many people, the to-do list is a must do. If it’s not already a part of your day, make it one. During the winter months, a to-do list may be just what you need to get you motivated to get going.
After all, who doesn’t like that small accomplished feeling you get when you check something off your to-do list?
Enjoy the Benefits of Winter
It’s really easy to talk about all the things that keep you in bed during the winter months, but try not to forget reasons to get out of bed, like a warm cup of hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows, of course) or a hot coffee to get your blood warmed up. There’s something much more satisfying about a hot cup of coffee on a cold day in winter.
If you need to, make one of those really cool winter perks part of your motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
Finally, no matter how you get going, make sure you reward yourself at the end of the day. When I finish a day of writing, I make sure to fold the laundry while I’m catching up on my Grey’s Anatomy.
There’s no reason you can’t work a little fun into your busy schedule.
Written by Erika Towne