Staying Productive Despite Record Breaking Rain
The National Weather Service recently reported that since October 1st of last year, 44.67 inches of rain have fallen on Seattle soil. Despite living in the Pacific Northwest, which is infamous for its rainy weather, this is the most that has fallen since 1895. Unfortunately, Seattle’s forecast continues to look wet as we finish the month of April. While April showers bring May flowers, they can also have an impact on productivity in the workplace. While some employees experience an increase in their productivity, others notice that their productivity drops as the rain continues to fall. Make sure that no matter what impact the weather is having on your productivity, you remain consistent at work.
Rainy Weather Pros:
The authors of the Harvard Business School published work, “Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity”, concluded that without the temptations that accompany sunny weather- trips to the beach, walks in the park, etc.- employees are better able to focus on the tasks at hand. While we anxiously await sunny weather, the rain may in fact serve as encouragement to stay inside and complete our work rather than planning the fun in the sun activities that we could be participating in if the sun was out.
Rainy Weather Cons:
While some notice an increase in their productivity, others experience a decrease with the dreary weather. This decrease in productivity is often a result of the rain (especially the amount of rain that we have been experiencing) causing employees to feel lethargic and the overall mood of the office becoming gloomy. In addition, the rain can cause traffic that hinders employees from arriving to work on time, thus cutting into their workday.
So what can you do to keep your work consistent regardless of the weather?
- Be aware of how the weather affects your work: In order to maintain consistency despite the weather, make sure that you are aware of how the weather affects your productivity. Are you the type of person who shuts down mentally when it rains, or do you find yourself buckling down since sunny weather isn’t present to distract you from your work? By understanding what triggers a decline in productivity, you can work on consistency.
- Develop a routine: Develop a routine that you can stick to regardless of the weather. This routine will be most effective if you choose to complete the most demanding tasks at the beginning of the day so that if daydreaming of sun or your lethargic mood does catch up to you, the hard work is already behind you.
- Set and track goals: By setting and tracking goals, you are able to create benchmarks that will keep you on track rain or shine.
- Be present: Although the weather can make it difficult to focus on your work, be present in each situation that you find yourself in. If you are having a meeting, focus on the meeting rather than planning how you are going to spend the weekend on the lake. If you are writing emails, resist the urge to google tropical locations to escape the rain.
As we wait for the sun to come out, don’t let the consistency of your work waver. Be mindful of how the rain impacts your work and set yourself up for success.