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Why Snow Days Make Us MORE Productive

Today was the first snow day of the year for those of us living in the Washington DC area. And though the amount of snow that caused schools and businesses to shut their doors for the day would make any of our Northern neighbors laugh out loud … it was still a big day. As much as kids love being able to stay home from school, snow days can seem like something of an inconvenience for the rest of us – causing work to pile up like the snow on our driveways.

What if snow days actually make us MORE productive?

There are a few progressive restaurants around the world that feature tasting menus designed to be eaten blindfolded (or in the dark). Why? Because removing sight makes you focus on more the taste and smell of the food. I used to use my own version of this tactic while I was writing Likeonomics – by purposely turning off the Wi-fi connection on my laptop and disconnecting myself from distraction.

Snow days are the ultimate inspiration for single-tasking: the forgotten art of doing ONE thing at a time.

That one thing might be playing snowball baseball. Or building a huge LEGO starship. Or curling up on a couch watching a movie. And in between these snowed-in pleasures … you can still check in on work, or focus on solving a problem you’ve been experiencing … or even writing a blog post (like this one).

No matter what you managed to do (or not do) today, it is enough. There are no expectations on a snow day. And that little fact might just make this one of the most productive days of the year.

  • Sylvia H.

    I agree! Today Olney, MD got about 3″ of wet, slushy, heavy snow and 2 appointments got canceled. I’ve taken advantage of focused time in office to belt-out a few items I’ve not been able to get to otherwise.

  • Tinu

    Absolutely. It’s amazing how much you can get done with no phones ringing or people popping their heads in your office or meetings. Not that I don’t love all of those things.

    Except 70% of meetings. If we can do it over email and we’ll connect for something else, I don’t see why I need to go to a meeting too!