Tips to Stay Productive During the Winter

January 22, 2021

Finding motivation during the post-holiday season is essential for happiness at home and work.

For Christmas, I bought myself a walking treadmill and standing desk for under my at-home workspace. This was an investment that I made in my own health and well-being. We always put ourselves last but when it comes to our health and well-being, we should put ourselves closer to the top of the list. 

Feeling inspired during the winter months can sometimes be a struggle, especially if you live in a cold winter climate. But this is also an ideal time of year to increase your productivity at work and home. (And, let’s face it, most of us have a very blended work/home life at the moment.)

While it might be tempting to kick back and coast through the coming weeks, it’s important to stay productive. Not only will you feel more accomplished, but you’ll also see the benefits of your hard work pay off the rest of the year.

So, are you ready to rock 2021? Take a look at these ideas to get started.

Take a mid-day workout break

With shorter daylight hours, it can be a struggle to get yourself up and moving in the morning. And when the sun goes down in the early evening, the thought of exercising can be even more unappealing.

So, if you work from home (as many of us do nowadays), try a mid-day workout routine to stay healthy. A mind-boosting yoga practice or a quick HIIT workout can give you the energy needed to get through your afternoon. Even if you’re working at the office, a quick 15-minute walk in the fresh air will help pump up your endorphins and motivate you to stay productive.

Get your Vitamin D

This one goes without saying. Vitamin D is an essential part of a healthy diet. If you live in a cold weather climate where sunshine is in short supply, try taking a Vitamin D supplement or eating foods that are either fortified with or naturally rich in Vitamin D, such as:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Shrimp
  • Cereal
  • Milk
  • Orange juice

Clear the clutter

Springtime is traditionally when people clean out their homes and offices, but why wait until the weather is fairer to get rid of unnecessary clutter? Now can be a great time to purge closets, tidy up your home office, organize the bathroom, and go through your computer files. Also, putting away the holiday décor is a great way to clear the slate and give yourself a fresh start.

And if the thought of clearing out a particular space gives you anxiety, try this tip: set a 20-minute timer and tackle what you can during that time. The next day, give the project another 20 minutes, and so on. This will make a large organization job feel much more do-able.

Less mess will often reduce stress and help you concentrate on your work. Plus, you’ll have a clean, tidy space where you can spend time with your family.

Focus on mental health

For some, feeling sluggish is a natural part of the winter months. But it’s important to recognize when the “winter blues” become a more serious condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This may cause you to feel overly tired or depressed, and can have a negative impact on your sleep, diet, mood, and work performance.

Of course, if you believe you may be experiencing SAD, it’s best to consult with a medical professional. At home, there are a few things you can do to help support your mental health:

  • Practice meditation or yoga
  • Try light therapy
  • Avoid processed foods and eat nutrient-rich foods
  • Exercise
  • Plan a vacation to a warmer-weather climate

Take on new projects

With the holidays behind us and the busyness of summer is still months away, now can be an ideal time to ask for new tasks at work. If you’ve been stuck in a rut, consult with your manager to find projects that spark your interest. Nothing boosts productivity like a new challenge.

This is also the time of year when many companies have employee performance reviews or check-ins. Before meeting with your manager, take the time to set goals for yourself in the coming year. This will help you prepare for the conversation, so you can collaborate with your supervisor on the best plan of action for achieving your professional goals.  

Sometimes all it takes is a few small changes to your daily habits to start seeing a positive impact on your productivity and success. Let’s make this an amazing year!