Enduring the dark, cold winter seasons can be a drag. One reason it’s important to stay productive and motivated during these months is because we’re setting the tone (and pace) for the rest of the year. It’s like a race – if you go out too slowly you never get into a winning rhythm.


Also, staying indoors more during these shorter days drains us of energy (not to mention the mood dips). But it doesn’t have to be so grim! Here are some tips on how stay energized, engaged and productive during the next couple of months.

  1. Move. As in get physical, whether it’s exercise, going for a walk or taking the stairs at work. This will keep your mind, body and spirit lively, instead of nap-y.
  2. Get outside. Fresh air, daylight, sunshine and even grey skies – nature will revitalize you and reward you with something beautiful when you go outside. It’s also a good idea to step away from your work to give your brain a break and re-energize.
  3. Get enough sleep. Since it’s cold and flu season, make sure you do one of the best things you can to prevent being laid up for days at a time – snooze. Use the cozy season to your advantage.
  4. Set exciting goals. If your resolution list is either already broken or it’s staring at you like an unfriendly math teacher, rip it up and start fresh. Write down a handful of goals that you actually want to do – things that make that tail of yours wag throughout the weeks ahead. From creating a new presentation, to having coffee with someone new each week, to taking an art class. Give yourself some goals that you can root for!
  5. Eat healthfully. These are the months where we’re temped to slip the most, but when healthful eating matters a lot. When you’re already feeling sluggish and then you throw sugary, rich foods on top of that, you’re lucky to even answer an email, right? This doesn’t mean you can’t have anything fun to eat – just make sure you’re getting a well-balanced meal and eating foods that give you energy. Eventually you’ll value how great you feel after eating real food over the cupcake you’re giving up.
  6. Make fun plans. It’s easy to become a hermit this time of year and fall into an anti-social slump. Don’t save all the fun for summer. Take a long weekend, or a tropical vacation. Make a point to see people you care about, and plan activities you’re interested in. Winter is a great time to be inside taking in cultural events which can fill up the gas tank as well.  What we do outside of our working hours immeasurably impacts our jobs.
  7. Set yourself up for a fun summer. Imagine being able to leave at 4 p.m. most days this summer because of the groundwork laid this winter. One extra hour at the end of the day when it’s still dark out might add up to a lot of productivity in your pocket come June. This incentive could motivate you to be strategic and productive.

We know we missed one or two – so tell us: How do you get through the winter? Tell us in Comments.

Related stories:
The Tao of Project Organization
How to Be More Productive With Your Time: Q&A With Laura Vanderkam
How to Set Smart and Achievable Goals

7 Tips to Stay Productive During the Winter was last modified: March 6th, 2014 by Tatyana Sussex