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Tips on How to Stay Productive

Staying Productive When The Weather Turns Gross

Do you find it difficult to build the motivation to work when the weather is gloomy? Struggle to get out of bed when it’s freezing out? You’re certainly not alone, but you can turn the bad weather blues to your advantage.

You get more done when the weather is bad

In their 2014 research paper, Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina researchers found that bad weather actually increases productivity in employees. 

The meta-study noted that while most people (84%) believe that better weather increases their productivity and bad weather stunts it, the opposite is true. While people thought bad weather would induce a negative mood that would impair their performance, when tested scientifically, more got done when the weather was bad.

The theory is that better weather is more distracting. Sunny skies make us daydream of what we could be doing, or we decide to forego work to do something more immediately enjoyable.

Even just thinking about sunny days can result in lower productivity. A group that viewed several pictures of sunny-day activities before work each day was measurably less productive than those who didn’t.

Setting the mood

The principal challenge of working on dull days is getting started. If you work from home, the boundaries between work and home life can be blurry. Here are some tips for effective working when the weather is gloomy.

  1. Get enough sleep – Getting out of bed on a cold winter morning is doubly difficult if you’ve been up binging YouTube videos late into the night. A regular daily sleeping routine will do wonders for your health and your morning motivation.
  2. Exercise – Budget time for a session of physical activity in the morning. Yoga, dance, boxing, barre, Pilates – whatever makes you feel better. Exercise will relax you, clear your head, and help you focus.
  3. A relaxing shower – Even though you might be staying at home working on a dismal day, you’ll feel a lot better about it if you feel refreshed, groomed, and looking good. Forego the sweatpants or leggings for something more professional, and you’ll feel more engaged at your work.
  4. Coffee break! – A small coffee each day can be a nice pick-me-up. It’s best to have your cappuccino or latte early in the day so you feel the energy boost and it doesn’t affect your sleep at night. Taking the time to drink a coffee when the rain is beating against your window can help you appreciate everything you have, and it’s an excellent time to plan out your workday.

Saving time for the future

With this in mind, it’s best to get as much done on rainy days as possible, as it’s when you’re at your peak efficiency. And when the good weather has come around, you’ve saved up time and money to enjoy it. With the rain, sleet, or snow falling down, knuckling down on poor weather days isn’t as difficult as you might imagine.