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by Kaitlin McManus | November 13, 2018


Rainy Window

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m basically useless if it’s raining outside. I can’t get up at my usual time, no amount of caffeine can jumpstart my brain, and it’s all I can do not to put my head down on my keyboard and hope I can accomplish something via osmosis. I always thought it had to do with the barometric pressure, but Bustle says that because we don’t see the sun, our brain never really wakes up for the day. And now that it’s officially fall (we had a late start, didn’t we?), that rain’s coming down more often—and it’s coming for your productivity. Here are five tips on how to keep your sluggish rainy-day brain from getting in the way of you kicking butt at work.

1. Get physical

Sitting at a desk all day is no good for you even if it’s beautiful outside, but it happens more than we like to admit. Make sure that today you get up and go for a stroll. Outside would be ideal, if the rain’s not coming down too hard, but even a lap around the office can do a world of good. Head to the bathroom or another private area to do a little stretching, and make sure that you’re getting up regularly for a drink—hydration is key when you’re fighting the blues.

2. Shoot the breeze

While not everyone gets their energy from social interaction, for those of us that do sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a break and chat it up. Take a moment to see what’s going on with your coworkers—there’s no shortage of current events to get their opinions on or, at this point in the year, you could ask what their holiday plans look like. A little social interaction can inject some much-needed energy into your schedule. It might even be a good day to get lunch with a coworker so you can come back feeling refreshed instead of more lethargic.

3. Mix it up

Slogging away on a project—doing the same thing from nine to five—adds another layer of dull to the effects of the cloud cover outside. While sometimes there’s just something you’ve got to get done, try to work in a little variety if you can. Chances are you’ve got more than one thing going on at any time, and hopping around from one task to another will force your brain to kick into gear.

4. Pump up the jams

If your job allows you to wear headphones while you work, a rainy day might be a good time to "werk" it out. Pick something upbeat or, if you’re feeling a little too mellow for that, at least something with a strong bassline. I love Mozart, but he can’t stave off a slump as well as Ariana Grande or some most excellent 80s tunes.

5. Do a puzzle

This is why I keep a jigsaw puzzle in my desk drawer. Okay, not really—it’s metrics and snacks. But taking five or ten minutes to challenge yourself with a crossword or a sudoku could perk up your brain. They’re called brain teasers for a reason. It may feel like “goofing off,” but even a quick level of Candy Crush can help—anything that’s a little fun for you, and a little fun for your brain. Taking a few minutes to reset and get focused can make you more effective in the long run, as opposed to trying to “power through” the day while not getting much done. Try building in a little time from your lunch or coffee break to use at a time when you really need it.