Being productive with an online business during the dark, cold winter months can make these problematic. Even though many people would instead take a nap after nap because the sun sets early and it’s cold outside, it’s important to stay motivated and productive despite those feelings. Staying productive will set the tone for the rest of the year, so it’s vital to find ways to stay motivated all year long, especially during the winter. In our free webinar training, we discuss ways to follow through on business goals and create a successful online business. During the winter is no difference, which is why we offer some tips on how to stay engaged and productive even when the weather threatens to make you unproductive.
Keep Your Office Warm
Forbes recommends keeping your office warm to keep the chilly air away, but at the same time, you shouldn’t make your office too warm because then you might fall asleep. Find a pleasant temperature that makes it easier for you to work without feeling overheated.
If you live in a colder climate and you're chilly at work, your focus will be on how to get warm instead of how best to complete your next project, Teach says. “It's important to have a comfortable work environment, so find out where the thermostat is in your office and perhaps more importantly, find out who controls the thermostat and make sure they keep it at a comfortable temperature for you and your co-workers.”
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
During the winter it’s even more important to keep your eye on the prize as Zip Recruiter reminds us. If you don’t stay motivated during the winter time what makes you think it'll be any different during the spring and summer? It’ll be warmer by then, but there are always going to be distractions so it’s best to find a system to work around them while you still can.
Winter can send us all into an emotional funk—it’s called the winter blues for a reason, after all. And, that negative attitude can only be compounded when you’re stressed with a long job search and those inevitable rejection emails.
Yes, that can be discouraging. But, always remember to keep your sights set on the end goal. At the end of it all, you have an awesome new job (and, of course, spring!) to look forward to.
Stay zoned in on the light at the end of the tunnel, and suddenly those dark days of your winter job search won’t seem so bad.
You can also stay motivated by remembering your “why” and why you started your business. Go back to the basics and stay connected to your vision to pull you through as Inc. suggests.
When temptations, distractions, and other scenarios present themselves that can set you back, it's important to be connected to your “why”. Your why is the engine that keeps you motivated and going when those inevitable days and resistances sprout up.
A useful strategy is to keep an index card with a reminder about why you're staying on top of your productivity and what this means to you.
Start the Year Over
You’re lucky it’s only the end of January because guess what… you can quickly start the year over! And if by the time you read this it’s already June you can still start over. Don’t let winter or any season for that matter get you down. Pick yourself back up as Forbes recommends and start fresh:
If you think you've ‘blown it' for 2019 because you've already broken your New Year's resolutions, think again, Moore says. “First, simplify so you focus only on one or two. Next, start your new year today. January 1st is arbitrary anyway. Forget the old all-or-nothing thinking and restart your new habit any time you slip into old behaviors.” This may give you the motivation you need to be more productive at work.
Similarly, Liquid Planner mentions how important it is to set goals. So if you’re starting the New Year over you better set some goals too. Here are a few ideas on how to do that.
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!
Create a Schedule
If you want to follow through with your online business goals, Zip Recruiter recommends creating and sticking to a schedule. Write down when you’re going to work on specific projects and follow through with your timeframe. You may need to adjust some tasks depending on how long it takes you to complete them, but for the most part, a schedule will keep you more organized as opposed to not having one at all.
There’s no denying that the change in daylight can wreak havoc on your time management skills. So, it’s best if you take the time to plan out and jot down a formal schedule that you can follow for your job hunt.
Will you complete job search tasks for an hour each day after work? Will you dedicate time on the weekends? Will you aim for so many hours every week?
Creating a schedule will help to ensure that you have a plan you can actually stick to. Plus, it’ll keep you motivated and accountable in those moments when you’d rather do anything else.
Put Together a Helpful To Do List
Primo Associates says that putting together an effective to do list will remind you of what needs to get done. Without a list, you’ll be more likely to forget the essential tasks. Keep your to-do list up to date, so you know which jobs are more of a priority than others.
If you struggle with organization and procrastination, then to-do lists are the answer. Not convinced? Psychology says that your brain loves them, they’ll help you remember stuff, they’ll relieve anxiety and they’ll keep you on a focused schedule. Make detailed, realistic lists that you can accomplish and stick to them. Even ticking off simple tasks will make you feel accomplished and therefore encouraged.
Of course, your body can’t function without proper nutrition and sleep, which is why Forbes recommends focusing on your diet. It’s hard to think let alone follow through with long working long hours without fueling your body with food that’ll keep it going.
Watch what you eat and drink, says Marian Morgan, a productivity coach. “Comfort foods and sugary drinks will leave you sluggish and bloated. A heavy meal leading to a nap may sound like a good idea on the weekend, but especially during the week you’ll want to watch your sugar and carbohydrates intake,” she says. Warm yourself up with a cup of green tea to refresh, instead.
Inc. also says it’s okay to be selfish and take care of yourself because if you don’t then you’re going to get run down and winter is going to get to you even more. Don’t let that happen – focus on yourself and give yourself enough time to work and have fun. It’s all about creating a balance.
I know, at first glance, this probably makes you feel uncomfortable or guilty. But, being selfish means you're going to show up to the world as the best version of yourself because you're taking care of your health and fitness. Optimal productivity and performance start with your health.
Decide what fills up your well-being tank and include those in your schedule no matter what.
At times, this may mean doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. You'll potentially feel peer pressure for not indulging when everyone else is. And that's ok.
When it comes down to making choices, make choices based on the personal values you've established.
Talk to People About Work
Doesn’t it feel good getting something off your chest? Whether it’s with a friend or a colleague, sometimes it’s nice having someone you can bounce ideas off of. That’s why Apartment Therapy recommends reaching out to a friend when you’d like to chat about work or life in general.
I talk to my friends all the time but don’t often talk with them about work. When we do, though, I find that there’s a great deal to be gained from having a connection with others over professional problems, joys, and goals. Everyone needs some encouragement, support, and new ideas from time to time.
Do Something Positive
If you really can’t shake the winter blues, perhaps it’s time you focused on the positive. Kelly Services reminds us that doing something positive will help you build your motivation to do other activities. Soon enough you’ll be taking the world (and your business) by storm.
If all else fails, you’ll have to build your motivation by means of extra-curricular activities. For example, you could begin training for a 5K; teach yourself how to use Photoshop; or start doing volunteer work on the weekends. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will make you feel good because you can measure your progress, improve your results, or earn appreciation from those around you.
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