I'm not sure if it's just me, but falling back an hour due to the daylight savings time adjustment, combined with the weather getting colder, has made me feel lazy and less productive. Getting up and getting things done is getting harder, which is a big switch from the warm summer days when I would jump out of bed and get lots of things done before the sun went down. There is just something about this time of year that slows productivity down to a crawl.
If you're like me, finding ways to get energized this time of year can be tough. The best way to combat it is to first admit that you're having trouble. There's no shame in it. After all, it's human nature to want to slow down as the winter sets in. As a matter of fact, our ancestors worked hard through the spring and summers, then after the fields were harvested, they settled into a quieter routine. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), we don't all work on farms and we have to maintain a reasonable level of productivity year round.
So how can you fight the late fall/early winter blues? A great way to do it is to just have fun. Sound too simple? Well, here are 5 ways to goof off while improving your work performance:
Change your scenery. Sometimes just getting a new view can help clear your mind and get your blood flowing. If you spend most of your day in a cubicle or staring at a computer screen, taking a break and walking around will help your energy levels.
Take a power nap. Although most bosses don't allow naps in the office, there are many people who take a 15-30 minute power nap on their lunch breaks. If you don't feel comfortable doing this in the office, you can always try napping in your car - just be sure to set a reliable alarm. Many experts suggest that taking naps is the very best way to not only improve productivity and energy, but also brain function. Personally, I'm a huge fan of naps, but I've never been able to nap at work because I've always been too afraid of oversleeping.
Chat with co-workers. The workplace is also a social place. Taking a break from work to chat with your co-workers isn't as much of a waste of time as you might think. When you talk to others, your brain shifts gears and allows the parts that have been working hard to take a breather. Plus, having good relationships with your peers leads to higher job satisfaction.
Run a few errands. If you're able, take some time out to run a few errands. Maybe you can pick up office supplies or make a coffee run. It doesn't matter what you do, it's just the whole "getting out of the office and doing something else" part that really helps.
Brush your teeth. There's something about minty fresh toothpaste that really wakes me up, or maybe it's just the ritual of brushing my teeth that helps, but either way, if you're struggling to stay alert, brushing your teeth will help. Keep a small travel brush and your favorite toothpaste in your desk and brush after lunch to avoid the afternoon slump. You might want to consider using a different toothpaste flavor for work, just to add some variety to your life.
Bonus: Go out to lunch. Not everyone gets an hour off for lunch, but if you do, why not go out to lunch occasionally? You can plan lunch meetings or just go solo. Having lunch in a restaurant allows you to combine many of the things on this list and as such, it's a super fast way to beat the cold weather blues.
What do you do to keep your energy levels up? Please share your thoughts in the comments.