How to Stay Productive During Winter When Break Is the Only Thing on Your Mind

For many, winter is a long, cold season that drains all of your motivation. Even getting out of bed in the morning is hard. It almost seems as though the frost on your window is literally spelling out a plea to stay in indoors indefinitely. I attend school in Florida, so I don’t experience the typical winter. But there is something about the season that leaves me feeling sluggish. Even though it’s nothing compared to the temperatures of other parts, I do appreciate the break from the sweltering heat and humidity during this season. It leaves me wondering how to stay productive over winter break when I just want to cozy up.

Maybe my lack of motivation stems from the fact that for half of the season I am thinking about the end of the semester and counting down the days to going on break. And aside from thinking about a long break, wintertime also tends to be a hectic time for students. Whatever it is about winter that leaves you feeling unproductive, I’ve got just what you need. Instead of having winter blues drag us down and halt our creative juices, we should try a few things to keep us on our toes and be productive. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of tips on how to stay productive during winter. Be gone, winter blues!

  • Clear the clutter. It’s never too late to do a bit of spring cleaning. Grab a box and start removing the things that are just hogging space. Consider donating the items in good condition so you can helping someone else out. By keeping the things that are truly necessary and wanted, your space will give you a clearer perspective and encourage productivity. 
  • Stock up on filling and nutritious foods. Winter blues can really affect the snacks you reach for. It’s a good idea to buy some snacks that you enjoy, but ones that also give you the energy you need to power through a dreary day.
  • Plan outings with friends and family. If you’re going a little stir crazy from staying indoors too long, then it’s definitely time to call up a friend or family member. You don’t have to plan big outings. Just head over to a coffee shop and enjoy a change of scenery.
  • Compile a list of books you want to finish by the end of the season. This is one of my favorites! There’s nothing more productive than scratching off a book from your list. Not only will you be accomplishing a goal, but you will also be making sure you are penciling in time to unwind. 
  • Plan a day trip somewhere. Whether it’s 30 minutes or three hours away, go ahead and plan that day trip you’ve been dreaming about. Even if you’ve visited before, you will find yourself refreshed and invigorated. 
  • Keep your space warm, inviting, and pleasing to the eye. A comforting and aesthetically pleasing place will always give you a burst of energy. There’s just something about a great living space that can zap you right out of those winter blues. 
  • Take walks during your downtime. You might spend the majority of winter bundled up in your room, but it’s always good to get yourself moving. Whether you brave the outdoors or just walk around your building, try to stretch it out! 
  • Get plenty of restful sleep. No matter the season, sleep is a surefire way to keep you energized and productive. Especially during the sluggish winter months, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Nothing says productivity like a good night’s rest!
  • Pencil your plans into a calendar. During the winter, you might feel a lack of motivation. But, you don’t have to fret about forgetting anything if you commit to updating your calendar as plans arise.
  • Avoid staying in bed or doing work in bed. Instead, find a comfy corner or coffee shop where you’ll be sure not to doze off at any second.
  • Always have warm drinks on site. This is a must! A warm mug of anything will be sure to perk you up in no time. Hot chocolate anyone?
  • Take breaks when you’re working on something. This is something to implement even outside of the winter months. When you’re going to be stationary for a long while, set aside a break time every so often. Your body and mind will thank you!
  • Prioritize more important tasks first. Wrapping up the more critical things on your to-do list first will help you feel more accomplished. It’ll also make you feel more eager to continue your productivity streak.
  • If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, then reach out to friends and family to talk it out. This is something I definitely do. Talking to my friends and family help me climb out of any sort of slump, especially when I’m feeling unproductive.

Share how you stay productive during winter in the comments below!

Opening image by Ali Bell