November is here, and it has brought with it the wintry weather, darker days and the start of the Christmas shopping season! Despite the excitement of preparing for Christmas, winter can be a struggle for many people, with the short, dark and colder days causing many of us to suffer the “winter blues.” Winter can make us all feel more tired than usual and unmotivated, causing our productivity levels to decline.
Working as a copywriter can be difficult during the winter, especially when writing for seven to eight hours a day. As the sky darkens and the cold rolls in around the office it can stifle creativity. So, how do you stay motivated, productive and creative during the winter season when nothing seems more appealing than the thought of crawling back into bed?
Read on to discover my top tips for remaining creative during the winter.
Learn New Things
There is nothing like the feeling of cosying up under a blanket in the evening with a warm cup or tea and the heating on full. While you’re warming your toes after a long day at work, why not spend the time learning something new? Turn the TV off and crack open a book or partake in an online training webinar. I have spent many evenings after work joining online writing webinars to help hone my skill and improve my ability. There is a vast selection of online courses, webinars and articles for budding or professional writers seeking to improve their skills. So, give it a go, I assure you it’s worth it!
Use Winter as Your Inspiration
As copywriters, feeling tired and sluggish at work is mightily unhelpful, hindering your thought process and ability to create new and interesting content that is coherently written. However, winter can be a great season for inspiration, so use it to your advantage. Write content focused around the benefits or trials of winter. You never know, it could be all the inspiration you need.
Ask for Feedback
Are you having a slow day in your office today? Save your work, send it to a colleague and ask for honest feedback. As a writer, I know that feedback can be a scary prospect. With four years spent in higher education, reading my work out in front of lecture theatres full of my peers, I know how intimidating sharing your work can be. However, it can also be a great motivator. Whether you’ve done well or your work is lacking in certain areas, honest feedback from your peers could be just the thing you need to get motivated.
Get a Daylight Lamp
If you’re anything like me, the fluctuating light levels during winter can have a significant impact on your concentration and motivation. Changing light levels can cause ‘seasonal affective disorder’ in many people, causing them to become tired, depressed and unmotivated during the dark winter months. To help combat the winter blues, it is helpful to invest in a daylight lamp. Daylight lamps mimic natural light from the sun, keeping you alert, productive and energised. You can even set your daylight lamp to an alarm or a timer, allowing you to be woken up gradually by natural light every morning – even when it is lacking during those cold winter mornings.
Create To-Do Lists
I love to-do lists. I find them particularly motivating and use them year-round to ensure I get everything done in a day that I need to. Creating a to-do list at the beginning of the week, or day, during the winter can be a huge motivator, preventing procrastination because you know exactly what you need to get done during the day. And, when you have a list outlining what you should be doing, you will have less excuses for not doing it. To-do lists allow me to stay productive and motivate me to carve out creative time in the day for my personal projects.
The Dreaded Point: Exercise
I know, this is the point most of us dread seeing on a self-help list, but it is essential for your wellbeing. Like most people, I find it difficult to keep exercising during the winter but thankfully there are plenty of articles out there with tops tips for exercising during the winter months.
Exercise is an effective way of ensuring your energy levels remain high throughout the winter months. You don’t even have to pay for a gym membership, just take the stairs, go for a short walk, work out to a DVD in the comfort of your own home. It’s important you stay active because it will help boost your energy levels and encourage productivity.
Make Sure You Eat Well
Okay, so it’s not about sitting on the sofa with a Big Mac, unfortunately. Watching what you eat during the winter has an enormous effect on your health and well-being. Comfort foods that are high in sugar will leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. Focus on eating healthy stews, soups and oven-roasts. Eat plenty of vegetables and ensure you get all the vitamins you need to stay healthy, energised and alert!
Seek Out Inspiration
Unfortunately, during your lunch breaks, sitting in the sunshine reading a book is no longer an option without catching a cold. However, Brighton has such as plethora of places you can visit during your lunch break. As a creative, it is important you seek out inspiration rather than waiting for it to strike. Visit a museum or library, take to shopping, explore the lanes, walk along the beach, or people-gaze in the local coffee shops – the options are limitless! When it comes to fostering creativity, a break away from your desk can help clear your head and inspire you to get creative.
Winter can suffocate creativity if you don’t stay on top of it by keeping healthy, exercising regularly and working hard to keep going. It can be hard and some days it’s good to simply rest and take it easy. You can’t force creativity, but you can encourage it. I hope you have found my tips for staying creative during the winter useful. If you have any suggestions of your own, I would love to hear them. Comment below with your top tips and let me know if any of my suggestions have been useful for you. Alternatively, get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you!