As the skies get grayer and the daylight hours shorter, do you find yourself growing less productive? I know I do, and a surprising number of people I talk to say they do too. So today, let’s see what we can do to turn that slide around with some ideas to help you get energized and get more writing done.
First, the change in how we’re feeling really is physical as well as psychological. Whether you call what you are feeling “winter blues’ or go for a more scientific cachet with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) there is plenty of research on the subject. But, let’s focus about what to do about it.
Michael Hyatt in a post titled How to Overcome the Winter Blues on his blog Intentional Leadership suggests you focus on four things:
Sleep – In particular, he advises that you resist the temptation to stay up later throwing off your regular sleep schedule.
Vitamins – Hyatt suggests multi-vitamins. I liked the advice from Therese Borchard on PsychCentral.com in During the winter I’m religious about stocking in my medicine cabinet a Noah’s Ark supply of Omega-3 capsules because leading physicians at Harvard Medical School confirmed the positive effects of this natural, anti-inflammatory molecule on emotional health.”
Exercise – This is often tougher when the weather turns cold, but regular trips to the gym will really pay dividends.
Sunlight “This is important to our physical and emotional health," says Hyatt. "When a deficiency leads to depression, it is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The good news is that you can address this with a simple gadget that replicates sunlight. I bought the Philips goLITE BLUE Light Therapy Device. I have been using it for 30 minutes a day while reading in the morning. Not only do I have more energy, I am sleeping better.” There are, I might add, a variety of other similar lighting products which work very well. Nancy introduced me to the importance of good lighting several years ago. Now I can’t stress its value enough.
Having dealt with these overall tips, let’s look at some things that will help you increase your productivity as a writer. Begin by setting goals. You’ve heard it before, but goal setting is more important than ever at this time of the year. Jennifer Brown Banks writing at Pen & Pro$per offers an excellent review of the benefits of goal setting in How to Put More GO Into Your Goal Setting .
To achieve your goals, you’ll need time. Mary Caffrey at Women on Writing suggests some ways to make sure you find that time in her post Establishing a Writing Schedule . What’s refreshing is that Caffrey recognizes that you have a life. She looks at how to take advantage of the time you have to make sure you’re as productive as you can be rather than designing an unrealistic schedule with time you don’t really have. What’s important is that when you do establish your schedule, stick to it. It will make you feel good about yourself and you’ll get more written..
Finally, Aileen Pablo on Writing Forward offers Five Motivational Techniques for Writers which will help you keep moving forward with you writing project. All of them will give you a boost when you need one.