With just a bit more than a month left before winter hits us, we can already start preparing to avoid a dip of motivation and actions.
The cold and snow outside make most of us dive within our memories and remember good and bad times, usually pushing away any potential actions you could take.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
On the contrary, the cold forcing us to stay inside can be a tool to use to be all the more productive.
Here are 5 steps you can already start taking to make this winter the more productive ever.
1. Set your environment up
No matter the season, a messy environment not set as you like it will always work against you.
You might like to have an empty desk with just a piece of paper and/or your computer. You might like to have a certain type of smell in the room to trigger your actions. You might even like to be able to see greenery in your periphery.
Look at the state of your working environment and find what doesn’t fit there in the long-term.
Then get rid of all the counter-productive things in that room. You don’t have to throw them away, but they shouldn’t be in eyesight when it’s time to get down on your goals.
Furthermore, whether you like Christmas decorations or not, those probably shouldn’t be anywhere in sight either. They’ll remind you of plans, things you haven’t taken care of and such, which is to avoid when trying to concentrate at your desk.
If you enjoy having greenery to look at to let your mind wander and be creative, then find a poster or wallpaper for your computer.
My desk environment is set as a second screen, a schedule of articles on the wall and a poster of Dragon Ball Z which makes me want to push myself. I just have to put down my laptop and am ready to go.
The goal here is to get rid of frictions when you decide to get to work. It should be as easy as possible to start.
2. Make a sound compilation
When the holiday season gets upon us, we’ll all want to start listening to fitting songs.
But those sometimes make our mind wander and prevent us from focusing.
A great way to avoid the procrastination of looking for a good compilation is to have it ready beforehand.
Obviously, the best would be to have folders in your computer set by seasons plus one that works for all of them.
It doesn’t really matter how we prepare for it, in the end, we’ll all want to listen to seasonal music in one way or another.
When writing, I concentrate well when I listen to water and fire sounds but as the cold season approaches, I have a tendency to set more chimney sounds than that of rivers. When studying languages during winter, I listen to this mix on YouTube.
You can even set the sounds or music to start at specific times if your schedule is rather stable.
3. Get rid of the basic Winter To-Dos
With the holiday season approaching, we’ll all have to go buy some gifts sooner or later.
Handling that in early November is a great way to get this off your shoulders and out of your mind. Plus, there definitely will be fewer people at the counter so you’ll avoid wasting time in line.
But this also works for more common tasks too!
If you live in a very snowy region, you might want to get your tires checked out in advance, get a new shovel if need be, or even start negotiating with your boss to work from home a part of the time during the season.
Again, if you like Christmas decorations, then why not set them up before the season starts? Not only, you won’t have it on your mind anymore but you’ll even be able to enjoy the Christmas spirit for a longer time at home!
Buying your winter coffee or tea and cookies ahead is also quite good to get out of the way too.
Of course, there’ll always be things which have to wait until winter actually arrives. Yet, if you can reduce that list, that’s always better than nothing.
4. Bundle indoor tasks
While it’s still bearable to go outside, make sure you handle as many as possible even if it means pushing some indoor tasks to a later time.
Going outside during winter takes a whole lot more courage and motivation so it’s better to handle those before the idea of going outside gets scary.
Indeed, the same task would make anybody much more mentally tired when freezing temperatures are upon us than when it’s just a matter of adding a simple coat.
If you can save your mental energy by just a bit, then you can use it for something more worthy of your goals.
5. Be the precursor for winter
If you’ve already set everything up, from your schedule to your environment and taken care of some tasks ahead, then you might as well start winter before the official kick-off.
Why would you have to wait for December 22nd before starting feeling like winter?
If you’re a chilly person or love the winter season, you might as well consider winter is upon you before December even starts.
I know I’ll have winter smells and music in my apartment long before the first snowflake appears and will be checking away one by one all the tasks I can do indoors.