Do you struggle with motivation and feel unproductive during the cold, dreary days of winter?
It’s been very cold and dreary here in the Midwest recently. I guess it’s safe to say winter is officially here. Staying focused, productive, and keeping energy levels up can be tough. But there are lots of things you can do to IGNITE your productivity, boost your mood, and keep your business moving forward – even during the after-holiday lull and cold, dreary winter months.
That urge to hibernate and decrease in motivation can be turned into a real plus if you see spending more time indoors as a good opportunity to get your inner space – both physical and mental – organized. You’re stuck inside anyway, might as well make the most of it and get something accomplished! Think of it as a time of preparation that will set the stage and free up time when the weather warms up and you’d rather be outside in the spring.
Here are some tips to turn those winter blahs into energizing ta-das.
Are the stacks of paper on your desk an avalanche waiting to happen? You may tell yourself those stacks are your filing method. But in reality, every paper threatening to cascade to the floor represents a delayed decision. So, dig in and sort, file, or get rid of excess papers.
Not sure what to keep and what can go? Click here for a handy guide and ask yourself these six simple questions…
- Do I love it or does it give me energy?
- Do I use it regularly?
- Is it recent enough to be useful?
- Do I need it for legal or tax reasons?
- How easy would it be to obtain again?
- Last (but most important) question – WHAT IS THE WORST THING THAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON’T HAVE THIS? If you can live with that answer, then you can probably discard, toss, donate, destroy or shred.
But remember, scanning and keeping digital copies on your computer is also an option, especially for those things where it’s hard to decide whether they should stay or go. Storing them digitally makes them easy find and even print out if you need them. (Just make sure they are stored or backed up in a way that protects them from computer crashes.)
Want to get organized on an even deeper level? You can also sort, file or get rid of digital files. Go through document files on your computer and organize them into folders or delete if you don’t need them anymore.
Have some time while you’re sitting watching TV or because business is a little slow this time of year? Take some time to clean out that email inbox. And while you’re at it, create categories and filters to keep your inbox more manageable moving forward. You can check out my tips on the 5 Decisions to Make With Emails HERE.
Now is also a good time to unsubscribe from businesses that are contributing to the inbox clutter. If you like the company but want to continue with fewer emails, check to see if they offer the ability to set preferences for either content or frequency of contact. There are companies I love and frequently shop, but they tend to send me multiple emails a day with promotional ads and sale content, which really clutters up my inbox. But most of them allow me to choose weekly – or even monthly – over daily emails. By adjusting my preferences, I still get notifications about sales, but have fewer emails to deal with.
Have a company or organization you like and are afraid you’ll forget about – or won’t be able to find – if you stop getting their emails? Create a document where you can keep the URLs of sites you may want to revisit in the future. You can even include a description of who they are and what they do/sell, so you won’t forget.
Evaluate and Set Goals
Sometimes all it takes to boost the mood and get energized is making positive plans for the future. If you take the time to review the previous year now, you can see where you shined and where you faltered in reaching the goals you set last year. It’s not about raking any mistakes you might have made over the coals, it’s about learning from what worked and what didn’t, which is always a good thing! That insight is valuable.
I found a great video by Jack Canfield on this very idea and also wrote a blog about the importance of evaluation you might find helpful.
Taking some time now, when you’d rather be in than out due to the cold, will make you feel accomplished and help you get things in order. It also has the added benefit of boosting your mood during these cold dreary months of winter. Boosting your mood helps motivation, so that’s always a good thing! So, turn those winter blahs into winter ta-das. I promise you’ll be glad you did!