This is not my favorite time of year. Now that it is dark at 4:30pm.
Daylight savings. We love it when we gain that extra blessed hour of sleep- and hate it when it means it’s pitch black by the time we leave the office, wherever your office might be, the kitchen, bedroom, or home office.
No doubt your productivity takes a hit during this dark time of year. And I’d guess that by 4 or 5pm, you’re ready to get the hell out of there.
I am generally a very motivated person, up and ready to go by 7:30 the latest. Ready to recruit, coach a client or volunteer for a project.
This time of year, I have to really motivate myself.
While I am getting ready for my day I listen to motivation podcasts, rock and roll music and limit my coffee to only 2 cups of energy in the morning.
So, how can we stay focused and determined when there’s a lot on our plates, but we can barely keep our eyes open?
You might be tempted to stop looking for a new job during this time of year as well as having the holidays right around the corner. That could mean missing out on a role that’s a perfect fit. Keep your search momentum going.
Some motivation tips:
Send out your resume and cover letter in the morning.
If you can, schedule most of your interviews, referral and recruiter calls before lunch time. Hopefully you have the most energy before the sun starts to go down.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: recruiters love talking with potential candidates. If you’re contacted by a recruitment specialist, never turn down the opportunity to speak with them. These exploratory conversations will help you to develop a relationship with talent acquisition experts while giving you a sense of the types of opportunities that are available on the market. Remember: you never know how a recruiter can help you down the road!
Instead of reaching out for another mug, add some movement into your routine. The act of getting up and away from your desk will make it feel less like you’re trapped in the office when you don’t want to be, and studies show that moving really does wake you up. Get up and stretch, start a walk around the office club, or even do some simple desk exercises, and you’ll instantly feel a bit better. Trust me, just try it.
Put on Some Tunes
If you’ve been listening to the buzz of silence and other people packing up their bags, you’re probably starting to go crazy and the lack of light sure isn’t helping.
Right now, I want you to try putting on some music or, if you can, a podcast to jolt your brain back into work mode. Plus, the noise will prevent you from dosing off when the darkness is just that soothing.
Try an App
Sometimes, you just got to recruit some outside help to get motivated. Have no fear! Apps can help avoid distractions, stay focused on one task at a time and even create a reward system for accomplishing things. So one’s bound to work!
Do the Easiest stuff Last.
Finally, if you can, organize your to-dos so that all the easy, mindless, not urgent stuff is saved for when the sun’s gone-down answering emails, filling in spreadsheets, scheduling meetings, doing your job search research.
I know. It’s a rough time of year to be productive, but unfortunately you can’t leave work when the sun does. But I know that if you try out these tips, you’d be surprised just how survivable it is.
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