It happens like clockwork each day until spring. Gray clouds give the sun a little time off, and we’ll feel the effects in our mood and productivity. Studies show that when our eyes detect darkness, our brain releases melatonin, and we get a signal that it’s time to go to sleep. For entrepreneurs with daily deadlines and major milestones to hit, it means we have to be smart about working through a gloomy winter work day. Here’s how:
Get Moving – Hopefully, you already give yourself little time outs every few hours (checking emails and your bank balance does NOT count by the way!). Try infusing your break with a recharging workout session. Believe it or not, you can get a great workout in as little as 20 minutes. Or, if time is super tight, just layer up and go for a 10-minute walk outside.
Listen to a Podcast – A great way to get some inspiration right at your desk is to listen to a podcast on a topic that is relevant to you. If you’re putting a proposal together, listen to a podcast on copywriting to get you in the right frame of mind, or take in some spiritual insight so you can realign with your purpose and get back to work!
Try Aromatherapy – Essential oils and scented candles are a great way to lift your mood and warm up your workspace in the colder months. Spicy scents like ginger and bold citrusy scents like lime and grapefruit can help you stay alert and focused throughout the day.
YouTube It – You probably don’t need another excuse to sneak in a few videos at your desk, but try something a little different, like a meditation/relaxation instructional video. You Tube has a ton of these, and you’ll be amazed at the recharging effects a 5-minute relaxation video can have on your productivity.
Cave to the Nap – Let’s be honest, we went solo so we COULD indulge ourselves during the day. So, if you have the time to spare, there’s nothing wrong with an indulgent afternoon catnap. The standard “sweet spot” for the perfect powernap is between 15 and 30 minutes. But, according to The National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Mental Health, a one-hour nap is ideal for restoring optimal performance. Lights out!
We are all sensitive to our environments, but awareness and action can overpower even your darkest days of winter.© Copyright 2010 Ali Brown