The days may be shorter and the weather colder, but those deadlines remain steady. If you’re lacking the usual motivation during these winter months, these seven tips will help renew it.
1. Save the Easy Work for the End
Get the hard work out of the way at the beginning of your day. Not only will you feel more accomplished, you’re most alert when you first get into the office.
Tackling the tough stuff headfirst won’t distract you all day long. You’ll feel good knowing you’ve completed the hard projects and can spend the end of the afternoon wrapping up easy back-burner projects.
2. Prep Tomorrow’s To-Do List Tonight
Before you turn off your desktop for the day, evaluate what you already accomplished so you can think about what you need to do tomorrow. Creating tomorrow’s to-do list the night before prepares you to walk into a new workday already knowing what you have to get done.
It puts you in the right mindset, and you won’t waste time at the beginning of your day figuring out how to prioritize your tasks.
3. Make Use of Your Commute
If you have a somewhat lengthy transit ride into work in the morning and a few extra things to get done before you get in the office, take advantage of the ride. Whether it’s reviewing paperwork or following up on calls, use the commute to complete these tasks.
When you arrive at work, you’ll have already laid down the day’s groundwork. It just makes sense to use the extra time you have.
4. Stop Multitasking
Studies continue to show that multitasking is a fool’s errand. How can you really get one thing done if you’re trying to do two things at the same time? Dedicate your full attention to one project instead of attempting to perform several tasks.
Multitasking tricks us into thinking we’re getting a lot done, but it often leads to poorer results across the board. Focus on one task before moving on to the next.
5. Minimize Distractions
Put your phone on silent, turn your notifications off—whatever you have to do to get in a distraction-free zone. You’ll work seamlessly when everything else is blocked out. Identify distractions, whether it’s the pinging of an Instagram notification or an alert every time a new email comes in. This way, you can focus on the task at hand.
6. Get in the Groove
Listening to music is sometimes counterproductive, but when you need to power through a project, and it’s dark, cold, and grey outside, the right mix of songs can change your tune. The buzz of other people milling about or the silence of your space might start feeling a little too loud. Fire up a Spotify work playlist for renewed motivation and jolt your brain back into the work zone.
7. Work in Intervals
There’s nothing wrong with scheduled breaks, whether it means getting up every two hours for a short walk or going to refill your water bottle. See how you can incorporate exercise into your 9-5 job. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve been working on the same task all morning. Allowing yourself to walk away for a moment can clear your mind, letting you return refreshed and ready to continue.
Work in 90-minute intervals for optimal productivity. Try testing this out and see how it impacts your work day.