5 Tips for Staying Productive during Winter
(With a little help from Microsoft)
Christmas has come and gone, leaving its twinkly lights and Egg Nog lattes as a distant memory.
You’ve had a long relaxing break from the busy commute, the “everyday routine” and pressurised time scales, but it’s now January and you’re certainly experiencing what can only be described as the winter blues.
Whilst you stare out into the grey clouded skies past the drizzle on the window pane, day dreaming of your summer holiday in sunnier places - here are 5 tips for staying productive during the cold winter months.
1. Change up your work location
Remote working is on the rise, with the majority of companies adopting “cloud” based software, allowing staff to work from anywhere there is an internet connection, remaining in collaboration with other employees. An example of such is Charity ShareCentre.
This flexible way of working means you are not constrained to one workstation. By switching up your location; whether this be your favorite coffee shop, your cosy home study or even just another floor in your main office; working in a fresh environment can provide you with the boost necessary to stay upbeat and focused - whilst keeping in sync with your colleagues.
2. Go Outside
If the thought of embracing the dreary British weather fills you with dread you’re not alone, but your body and brain will thank you if you do. Scientific studies have proven that cognitive functions are improved by spending time outside.
Why not incorporate a “walking meeting” into your busy schedule? Even by just taking a 15 min stroll every few hours can provide clarity for your thoughts and inspiration for new ideas. With Microsoft Outlook’s handy app, you can still access calendars, tasks and emails on the go.
Feeling creative? Power Apps allows you to build custom apps from multiple data sources such as an excel workbook or CRM – without writing any code, providing the perfect opportunity to get away from the desk, yet still access important info on the go.
The perfect excuse to show off in that comfy new scarf!
3. Plan effectively
Facing a heavy workload head on is one of the biggest causes of procrastination, along with eventual “burn-out.” If your mountain of tasks appears to be somewhat overwhelming, a more structured approach with a breakdown of what and when, will not only relieve stress but also keep you focused on the desired objective.
Microsoft’s Planner was built for users of Office 365; allowing you to assign tasks, have complete transparency of who is working on what, and categories tasks into “buckets” based on their status, with a simple drag and drop function. Accessible across all devices you’ll be able to manage your tasks with a single tap.
These platforms sync with your Microsoft Outlook seamlessly, allowing to stay on track and on task.
Lack of motivation often occurs due to repetitive tasks that eat up time and are perceived as rather mundane to complete.
Relieve yourself from routine jobs by scheduling Power Automate (previously known as Microsoft Flow) which allows users to automate workflows and tasks across multiple applications and services.
You set the rules that trigger the “flow” such as approval emails, notifications of a new subscriber or a reminder for a document review. You can even automate a “To-do” item synced from important emails, to receiving the latest weather forecast!
Perfect for planning that “walking meeting” with your boss!
5. Take advantage of Insights
Never miss important commitments, receive reminders for outstanding tasks and book time to focus around your busy meeting schedule. These are just a few of the built in features of Microsoft’s Insight tool.
This handy AI add in, available for all Office 365 users, links directly to your Outlook folder and even summaries your average focus patterns in MyAnalytics, to help you plan enough uninterrupted time to complete your work.
Compliant with GDPR and data privacy, Insights and MyAnalytics aims to improve your productivity with AI powered suggestions to help you work smarter.
The Gallery Partnership are recognized Microsoft re-sellers and our Microsoft Silver Partnership earned in recognition of the qualifications of our engineers, ensure privileged access to Microsoft's skilled support technicians.
We already work with over 300 charity clients, why not speak to us about how we can help your organisation stay on track in 2020?