We all know the feeling this time of year; you look out of the window around 5 pm to find the winter darkness has already settled in for the evening. If you’re finding the dark weather is making you demotivated or less productive than usual, you’re not alone. With our days becoming shorter, darker and colder, it’s not uncommon to start to flag and feel tired earlier in the afternoon. It happens to the best of us – however, if you’re mindful of the effect the dark weather is having on you, you can take simple, effective steps to dig yourself out of a productivity slump.
So, if you’re feeling the winter blues starting to sink in, here’s how DropTask can help you tackle them head-on to help boost your mood and stay focused all season long.
Tackle your hardest tasks in the morning
Studies have found that you are at your most productive in the first few hours of your day. So, grab a cup of coffee or green tea and get started on your most challenging tasks when you’re at your freshest. With the nights drawing in much sooner, it’s vital to make the most of the hours when you feel energized. With DropTask, receive daily email summaries showing your upcoming tasks so you can get ready to take on your day. Simply open up your tasks and add any resources and details you need to help you stay focused. The Progress Percentage bar also indicates how much of your task you have completed so you can see the status of your work at a glance. With the ability to add finer details, such as notes, Checklists, documents and more, you can see exactly what is required from each task, giving yourself focus and direction for the day ahead.
Take some time to think about when you experience your productivity peaks and dips. Are you a morning person, or does your motivation thrive in the darker afternoons? Once you’ve pinpointed the times you feel most alert, you can plan your day factoring in the most optimal time for you to work on your most challenging tasks – helping you stay in control of your workload and make the most of the hours in your day.
Stay motivated and engaged with your team
If you’re feeling the winter blues, the chances are your colleagues are too. Happy teams are the ones that thrive, and staying connected with each other is vital for ensuring your projects run smoothly. Use DropTask’s Discussions to inform your colleagues of updates to tasks, or to share ideas on a piece of work. Simply use the ‘@’ symbol to mention someone in a comment, and add in any relevant attachments. Maintain a seamless flow of communication directly within a task so your whole team can work together to get things done.
Keeping each other motivated will do wonders for your team’s morale and will ultimately make you all feel more productive. Give your colleagues a boost by congratulating them on a job well done; DropTask’s Congratulations will allow you to sprinkle a bright shower of congratulatory confetti on their completed tasks with the simple click of a button. Achievements will also inform you when you hit major milestones, giving you the motivation you need to keep going. You don’t have to tackle the dark weather drain alone; remember to stay active and engaged with your colleagues, so together you can turn those dark dips into productivity successes.
Set yourself realistic goals
With the end of the year on the horizon, managing your deadlines can become a challenge as projects start to come to an end before the Christmas break. Keep from feeling overwhelmed by giving yourself realistic deadlines on what you want to achieve, and when. Do this by adding specific Due Dates to each of your tasks so you can organize the urgency of each piece of work. Further prioritize your tasks into 3 simple ‘Now’, ‘Next’ and ‘Soon’ columns using DropTask’s Planner. This will help you break your work into manageable chunks, and allow you to focus on the most important tasks. Your Planner is only visible to you, so can still organize any miscellaneous tasks that don’t quite fit into your projects.
Although setting goals for your work is all well and good, it’s just as important to set yourself goals to look after your health. Our productivity levels are just as affected by the food we eat as it is by the weather outside. Set yourself the task to build regular exercise into your day, along with healthy snacks and fruit. Whilst the tempting lure of chocolate and sweets seem like a good idea for a sugar boost in the afternoon, it’s ultimately going to make you feel lethargic and have a detrimental effect on your productivity. Team up with your colleagues to ditch the sweets and motivate each other to stay active. This will help you feel refreshed when you come into the office each morning, so you’re less likely to feel run down, or miss work altogether from illness.