Our friends in the Pacific Northwest are covered in more snow than usual, likely affecting some of their EPPP productivity. Schools and employers have closed their doors for multiple snow days in a row. It’s so unusual, in fact, that elementary-aged kids are itching to be back in the classroom. I don’t know about you, but, as a kid, just one snow day would have been a dream come true, let alone multiple. As an adult, specifically one studying for the EPPP, a couple of snow days would be appealing as a chance for EPPP productivity. However, there’s something that happens when outside circumstances hinder our typical schedule. In the winter, cabin fever kicks in and EPPP productivity can diminish.
Weather can affect productivity and focus. Winter, especially if it’s cold where you are, can make you restless and unproductive. The days are short, the sunshine is rare, and it’s easy for your brain to hibernate. Even when a snow day from work or school leaves you with more time to study, the desire to hibernate in winter can make it hard to be productive.
Forbes published 12 Tips For Staying Productive Through the Bleak Winter Months. When studying for the EPPP this winter, there are ways to take advantage of the cold and stop it from holding your EPPP productivity hostage.
Beat the Blues
Taking breaks in general is good for retention and focus. During winter, working through breaks is easier with the early sunset and cold weather. Forbes suggests that you bundle up and brave the cold for a brisk ten-minute walk around the block. Fresh air and a bit of exercise will clear your head. Plus, the cold might wake you up a bit if you’re feeling groggy. It also might be a good idea to bring a friend, as being social can help you beat the isolation that winter can sometimes bring.
Staying healthy is another vital part of being productive. An excess of those tempting winter-season sugars and carbohydrates can leave you bloated and tired. Trade in the leftover holiday treats for energizing meals and make it a goal to exercise often.
Take Advantage of Winter
Though the sunshine of summer may be alluring when you’re trapped inside during the colder months, there are advantages to studying during winter. In fact, Forbes suggests that winter might be ideal for focus.
For one, sunshine and warmth can be distracting. In the warmer months, we often itch to get homework done early or clock off work in time to enjoy the sunshine that lasts well into evening. In these shorter days of winter, there is no warm and sunny evening to look forward to. Lack of sunshine is never fun, but you might as well take advantage of the winter by staying inside where it’s warm and well-lit to study.
Winter is also a great time to use goals as motivation. When warmth and sunshine aren’t there to motivate you to complete tasks, you can use goals to push you forward. Set short term goals and reward yourself for completing them. Goals and rewards will create initiative. Ultimately you will end up with a sense of accomplishment as opposed to simply going through the motions and wishing for summer.