Blame it on Blue Monday

Our resident Crackerjack was nice enough to inform us that yesterday was “Blue Monday,” a day known to be the most depressing day of the year.

Blue Monday is often associated with travel chaos on the chilly mornings, feeling poorer after an expensive Christmas, minimal hours of daylight, and failed New Year’s resolutions. With a general drop in motivation from the summer far away in the future, you could be forgiven for not wanting to get out of bed at all.

While some consider Blue Monday nonsense, the Boxcar staff felt it was a good time to hand out some of their personal tips and tricks on how to stay motivated and productive during your work day.

Boxcar’s Trendsetter and Media Whiz, Danielle and Lynsey, are all about some lists. “MAKING LISTS!” Danielle says. “I make a list and set goals to the number of to-do’s I can check off before taking a break.” One of the most important aspects of creating lists is to categorize things correctly. You have you daily meetings, tasks and work. Then you have your strategic goals, both short-term and long-term. You should create corresponding lists for each of these and integrate those lists into your daily activities. Stick to these tips when following lists:

1) Start with the easiest stuff first.

2) Review the items on the list and think about how you can break them down into smaller activities.

3) Focus on one list item at a time—multitasking is a myth and it will ruin your productivity.

4) Review and update your lists regularly.

Elizabeth, our Trailblazer, uses the Wunderlist App to keep her lists in check. There are several list applications and websites to allow you to record items properly.

Elizabeth also shares the idea of simply closing your door to your office. “I know it seems like I’m being anti-social, but occasionally I simply shut the door to keep out noise and force myself to focus on tasks that need to be completed.”

 

For many, the problem of productivity is not that of motivation, but of inspiration. Our resident designers, Kelly & Ann, talk about how they stay creative throughout their day. ” I visit different websites, blogs, and portfolios for inspiration,” Ann shares. “Ed Nacional, Les Illustrations de Lapin, Ludlow Kingsley, David Airey, Print Magazine, and DaFont are just a few examples of where I go to find cool stuff.”

 

The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to increase inspiration and motivation is to take breaks. Keeping the mind focused on the same activity for lengthy periods will eventually tire it out which can lead to mistakes and low work quality. Working in front of a computer for too long can be especially harmful to eyes causing blurry vision. Many people follow the 20/20/20 rule to rest their eyes; every 20 minutes, you look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. How you relax is up to you, but your brain, your eyes, and your boss will thank you.

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