When The Weather Cools Down, Productivity Cools Too
When the weather cools down, productivity cools too. Research shows that cold weather costs the economy roughly $50 billion in lost productivity every winter. Part of these losses stems from a downturn in retail shopping due to snow and icy conditions, but another factor is the impact of cold weather and shorter days on individual productivity.
People struggle with getting work done in the winter for a number of reasons. Those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can find the darkness of winter especially difficult, making them less productive and interested in work. More generally, people feel confined to the indoors. With weather that creates barriers to more physical outdoor activity, all you want to do is curl up on the couch with a little Netflix.
What should you do to combat these “winter blues” and get motivated? One overlooked tool you can use to your advantage is carefully selected music. Now, it’s common to wear headphones and listen to music while working, but the music you pick can be counterproductive. Most music is written specifically to grab your attention, and can easily distract you from the task at hand.
A better option to create an ideal audio environment for working is to use scientifically-based music to help you get energized and focused. Brain.fm is an app that offers functional music, backed by science and generated by a patented AI engine. Unlike most music, Brain.fm Focus is designed without elements that pull your attention to the music and cause distractions. For example, there are no lyrics or vocals in the audio, and sudden changes in the music are avoided, as are very-high or very-low frequencies
The right music can go a long way towards helping boost your productivity levels while you’re in the office, but it can also aid in an important and often ignored productivity factor in your time away from the office: getting good sleep.
Quality sleep improves your memory, increases your ability to make better decisions, and helps prevent burnout. This becomes increasingly relevant in the winter when you don’t get much sunlight, which tricks your body into thinking that it’s time for bed more, and in turn makes you even more tired.
Sound is a powerful medium through which we can regain control over sleep, because our ears constantly monitor the environment even when we’re not awake. That’s why Brain.fm can also make an impact here, offering music designed to directly enhance slow-wave sleep. The audio itself is pleasant and musical, unlike white noise, but still has the consistency and repetitiveness that draws some people to use noise as a sleep aid. This helps the brain ease from the day’s activity into sleep, and then deep sleep – the restorative resting state that over one-third of adults don’t get enough of.
Your productivity early in the year can affect your attitude and performance later on. The cold, dark days of winter present an added challenge, but with the right tools and habits, you can keep a competitive edge until spring arrives.