Here are 12 tips for staying productive at work through the bleak winter months:


Get physical. Moving your body with regular exercise before, after or during work, especially outdoors, helps reduce stress and improve sleep, Russell says. “And the sunshine you feel from being outside may give your spirits a much-needed lift.”

Start your year over. If you think you’ve ‘blown it’ for 2015 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.

Spend time outside. If you suffer from SAD–and even if you don’t–get ten minutes of sunshine every day if possible, Moore says. “Getting outside, if only for a little while, changes your perspective and reminds you that spring is just a little ways away.”

Keep your office or cubicle warm. 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,

Eat well. Watch what you eat and drink. “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.

Set goals. The wintertime is ideal for focusing on new projects, Russell says. Even if you’re feeling a bit sluggish, set new goals and volunteer for a new assignment that excites you. Your initiative will not only give you a sense of accomplishment and make you more productive, but it will most likely impress your boss.

“Spring Clean” during the winter. “Many people wait until the weather warms up before they do their spring cleaning at home, but you can do it at work when it’s freezing outside,” Teach says. Take advantage of the fact that you prefer to be inside at this time of year. Go through your hard copy files and computer files and throw out or delete anything that is no longer useful to you. You will be less overwhelmed and will feel less stressed out if you do.

Stay healthy. More people get sick during the winter months than the rest of the year with flu, colds, etc. If you miss work due to illness, it only makes it that much harder when you go back and you’re constantly trying to catch up. It hurts your productivity. While it’s sometimes difficult or impossible to not to get sick when everyone else is, do what you can (i.e. take vitamins, wash you hands) to prevent it.

Plan a vacation. If you tend to lose steam during the winter months, this could be the time to take your vacation to recharge and get some needed sunshine and natural vitamin D. says. But remember that you may have to play catch-up when you return—which can make things even more difficult.

Follow weather reports closely. There’s nothing worse than being late for work because of the weather, leave earlier so that you can arrive to work on time and not be stressed out first thing in the morning.” If you’re prepared, you’ll be more focused and productive when you arrive.

Be social. Avoid eating lunch at your desk alone. Ask co-workers to join you in the cafeteria or at a nearby restaurant, Russell says. “Being social helps break your isolation and connect in new ways with others at work.” The happier you are, the more productive you’ll be.

Stay later. There are only so many hours in the day but if you work late more often, you can be more productive and get more things done. During the winter months, what do you have to look forward to if you leave on time? Dark, cold nights? You might as well stay in your warm office and work a little overtime so you can get more work done and make a great impression on your boss.”


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