The Blog

April Ahhs…How The Enchantment Drives Productivity

hikingAlthough the temps are still vacillating from unseasonably cold to mildly normal, I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung.  Gone are the forecasts of snow and sleet. As we gradually accept the warmth and sunshine of recent days, we can sense the internal shift within us.

I’m not suggesting that Spring has magical powers but one would have to admit that it does cause somewhat of a spellbound effect. Beyond its glorious bloom, it has a strong and compelling influence on our mental attitude. Most of us have been stuck inside this past winter, we are all yearning to get out and do.  Anything.  Even a mundane errand seems joyful.  So aside from the noticeably longer lines at the car wash, what does this all mean?

This might just be the kick in the butt we needed. Change is good.

We are so ready to shift into action and squelch procrastination.  I write often about weather as a strong influencer and this particular cycle seems to emit such powerful motivation.  Inclement weather is no longer sabotaging our to-do’s. The change in weather boosts our morale and more importantly, heightens our productivity.

Spring urges us to spring forward, with a more positive bounce to our step.  We feel inspired by the new landscape that’s shifting before our eyes.  Flowers will be blooming and lawns will be turning greener.  You can sense movement and shift with the obvious external changes.  This feeling can likely discourage the ‘lazy’ in us, don’t you think? Fewer of us will opt to sit on the couch inside when a gorgeous sunny day is begging for our attention.

The thought of putting away winter sweaters and buying ‘spring things’ is so enticing, isn’t it? Perhaps even swapping out your wardrobes will inspire you to re-organize your closets and ignite the spring cleaning process… everywhere. Embrace the endless opportunities and possibilities that this new season prompts.

Whether you feel inclined to bike, hike, or start a new project, this is the perfect setting and time to do so. Spring into action!

So are you tapping into the shift?  Are you ready to do?

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Weather is a True Influencer: Has it Changed Your Perspective?

seasons_opt-3I think we’ve all had enough of this deep freeze, but the harsh reality is that this brutal winter is far from over. The good news is that time does not stand still.  It marches on and so shall we. Nothing lasts forever; neither the good nor the bad.

Life’s guaranteed forecast is abundantly clear.  Time fleets and change is inevitable. 

So whether or not we can even imagine the possibility of warmer days,  let us remind ourselves that this is not a hopeless situation.  One thing is certain, this too shall pass and Spring will eventually get here.

For those of us that live in parts of the country that have four seasons, we understand that seasonal changes in weather impact both our physical landscape and our psychological mindset.

The diverse seasons punctuate the cycle of a full year through the changes in our activities, the clothing we wear, the places we go, etc.  But those are not the only things that change. Our perspective is altered because each season feels different to us.  It’s a noteworthy change.  When we sense the physical change, it is likely to elicit an emotional response in our day-to-day lives.  These changes can easily affect our moods, behaviors and productivity.

This long frigid winter has been particularly challenging and isolating. The record-breaking big chill has kept more people indoors than ever before, as evident in fewer shoppers and less pedestrians on the street. As Northeasterners, one could even argue that we now have an even greater appreciation of nature’s changes. For us, warm sunny days and azure blue skies are not our typical year-round climate. Hence, our delight in spring’s bloom and the breathtaking autumnal changes of the fall are notable, and rarely taken for granted.

The extreme seasons, however,  tell a different story.  Our tolerance for severe cold winters and unbearably hot summers are increasingly low. Moreover, our memory is short.  Ironically, we not only have forgotten about whining over the steamy and humid days of summer, we actually yearn for them now.  And yet, as soon as summer’s heat wave escalates, we find ourselves itching for that first autumn day or the promise of an early snowfall.  We are indeed a fickle bunch.  Morphing from season to season very differently, our perspective is continually influenced by these changes.

The natural fleet of time urges us to propel forward.  We all move on, but not necessarily change.  But weather, undeniably, can be the powerful instigator.  In fact, it is the seasonal change that is the likely trigger that wakes us up, and perhaps evokes a personal change.

I wonder for those of you that live in a fixed climate where weather is not a strong influencer, what invites you to change?  I welcome you to share your perspective.  Come join in the conversation.

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Forecasts, Expectations and Surprises


With the arrival of Fall, we have increasingly fewer ideal opportunities for outdoor activities,  so with each sunny and warm forecast, our expectations are naturally heightened.

I woke up this morning to a cloudy grey sky and I had to coerce myself out of bed to start my day. The gloomy weather wasn’t particularly crucial to the productivity of my day, but it had already impacted my thinking.

Weather can be a powerful mood changer.

But by the time I showered, prepared for a new client session, packed my lunch and out the door, the clouds had drifted away and the sun was bursting over a crisp and cloudless cobalt blue sky.  I was surprised.  But I was even more surprised about how it shifted my thinking. I was rejuvenated with a more positive energy and grateful to have stolen another summer day in October!

This past summer, although a bit hazy now, I can’t remember a time that the weathermen gave us an accurate forecast. Too often, they didn’t get it right.  When weather matters, it impacts our day. We plan based upon these predictions.

I can recall back in July a couple of times when weather really mattered. The forecasters predicted a stellar weekend. I was invited to a dear friend’s wedding where the nuptial ceremony was to be held outdoors. Elaborate preparations were made to seat all the guests amidst a breathtakingly landscaped vista.

Although there was a Plan B in place, no worries, because the five-day forecast predicted nothing but sunny skies. There was no threatening weather to even consider.  Until that morning. I woke up to grey skies and ominous clouds. The patchy drizzle that continued throughout the day slowly shifted the optimistic forecast to a more sobering realistic expectation. The weather didn’t look promising but it was beyond anyone’s control.  It always seems that man plans and G-d laughs.

After all, it is the chance you take when you plan for an outdoor event. The bride and groom, parents’ and team of event planners, florists, and photographers had to make the call. Adjust and implement Plan B, or take the risk. Weighing in on the hourly doppler radar and trusting updated forecasts were paramount in this decision-making process.

Fortunately and to everyone’s surprise, it all worked out. Not only did the weather hold out, a brilliant mango sun eventually burned through the clouds just as the ceremony began. What a magnificent evening after all.

Later that July, I had a similar experience.  I was invited for a special get-a-way weekend to play golf on a beautiful private golf course.  Weather certainly mattered. The forecast was not great but knowing that it could be wrong, we went anyway. We had the expectation of “expecting the worst and hoping for the best” attitude.  Unfortunately, as predicted, the rain fell hard.  That first day we only got to play a couple of holes, before the glaring sirens ushered us off the course for lightning threats.  Eventually, after a 3 hour rain delay, we went back out to finish the round.

At dinner, we discussed the next day’s game plan.  With a 90% chance of rain, we adjusted our expectations, and assumed that chances were high that golf would be canceled. When we woke up, the soaking grounds confirmed that it had rained throughout the night. The weather didn’t look favorable, so we showered, dressed, and planned to eat and drink our way through the day, lol. If we couldn’t control the weather, we certainly could control our attitude.

But this time, in our favor, the weathermen were wrong.  By the time we finished breakfast, the weather had shifted before our very eyes and the sun broke through. We ditched Plan B, and off we went to enjoy a warm sunny day and another round of 18.  No expectations yielded a welcomed surprise.  Timing was key…the impending monsoon arrived just as we sat down for a late lunch.

I wonder how forecasts affect your expectations. Do you make a Plan B? Does weather impact your attitude?

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Mood Changers and Productivity Triggers

The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.  Fall is here, and whether or not you make a connection with the weather, we all can admit that we feel a change. Inclement weather, in particular,  is a powerful mood shifter and a forecaster of our productivity.  A formidable forecast can impact our day and often dictate our mood.

It is challenging to have that “get up and rock the world” attitude when it’s monsooning outside. A mood deflator, for sure.  Likewise, we are more easily rejuvenated with the energy that a bright sunny day can emit. This can be a mood inflator and hence, a productivity motivator as well.

If your productivity is influenced by the weather, Here are some tips to combat these obstacles;

  • Dress:  My Mom always told me to dress contrary to gloomy weather. When the forecast is dismal and dreary, I dress happy.  And it works.  When I dress in bright colors, I exude a more positive aura and interestingly, people always react perplexed and comment, “my, you look so bright and cheery today!”  It’s noticeable.  Another mood changer.


  • Attitude:  I know that I personally struggle with this one, but it’s just weather, not a life altering event.  Grab an umbrella, dress appropriately, and stick with your plan. Unless it’s a massive snowstorm, hurricane, or obvious dangerous conditions, avoid getting caught up in the weather and letting it alter your work day or daily agenda.  We cannot control the weather but we can control our attitude.  Fight the urge to cancel your appointments. Be a bit more daring and you’ll be surprised that your positive mental attitude will surge your productivity, despite the cheerless landscape.


  • Focus: The weather can easily distract us from our what we had planned, but if you can focus on what the goals are, the weather should not deter you from meeting them.  Stay on course.


  • Adjust: Factor the weather into scheduling your day and modify your time-management.  Prepare and plan your appointments accordingly. Everything takes longer in bad weather.


  • Prioritize: It’s easy to procrastinate if the weather is inclement, but clearly if something is important enough, it will happen. Don’t make excuses.

The weatherman tracks the weekly weather every night, with questionable accuracy all too often. But do his predictions impact your week? I wonder. What’s on  your personal forecast?

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