Do you struggle to stay motivated throughout the colder months? It can be tough to remain your most productive when the days feel shorter, darker and colder but there are ways you can improve both your working set-up and mood to help you get the most out of working from home during winter!
I’ve spoken many times before about my struggles adapting to working from home since I took the leap into the world of self-employment almost two years ago now but at this time of the year everything just feels SO much more difficult. With what feels like around 95% of the days here in the UK being grey and gloomy it’s hard to not to let it affect your mood and leave you dreaming of summer days gone by.
Fear not though, I’m here to share 5 top tips to help you survive working from home during winter which will hopefully leave you feeling much more positive AND productive throughout the coming months!
Adapt Your Setup
Your working environment is one of the most important elements of your daily routine and sometimes switching things up even a little might just help to improve your productivity and concentration levels.
Making the most of what little light we actually have during the daytime in winter is absolutely key so have a think about potentially moving your workspace to a different room which has bigger windows or lets in more light for the next few months. I guarantee it will have an impact on your mood and make you feel more positive. I’ve positioned my desk right beside the window in my office so I can maximise on as much natural daylight and vitamin D as physically possible!
Plants can also really help to breath more life into a room so why not think about stocking up on some more greenery to add to your workspace? It’s the perfect excuse to head to your local garden centre or plant shop for a mooch!
Keep Boundaries in Place
When it’s cold, dark and grey it can be super tempting to curl up with a blanket on the sofa, Friends on in the background whilst you’re tapping away on your laptop but I can safely say that probably won’t end up being your finest piece of work and it will probably end up taking you five times longer than if you were sat at a desk with no distractions.
Blurring the boundaries between work and home is easily done at the best of times but during the winter months it can be even easier to slip into a cycle of avoiding your desk, wrapping yourself up in a dressing gown and taking things a little slower. Whilst this might suit some people I highly recommend saving the cosiness for times when you can truly chill out and make the most of it instead of during working hours.
Don’t Become a Hermit
It can be SO tempting throughout the cold, dark months to simply cosy up indoors, hibernate from the world and press decline to every in-person meeting request or event invitation that comes your way but I guarantee this will only leave you feeling more isolated than normal and craving some serious human interaction!
Instead of spending everyday tucked away in your home office why not get out to a local coffee shop or arrange to meet up for a spot of co-working with some fellow business owners? It’s amazing what a change of scenery and a good conversation can do for not only your productivity but also your mental health. Plus you’ll get to treat yourself to a good quality coffee and maybe even a slice of cake, win win!
Don’t Ditch the Healthy Routines
Developing healthy routines feels so much easier throughout summer when the mornings are light and the days are long but it’s important to still incorporate factors such as regular exercise, a good diet and making sure you get enough sleep once the winter months roll around too.
It might be painful peeling yourself out of the cosy duvet in the mornings to drag yourself to the gym but I guarantee it will leave you with so much more motivation to face the day. That can also be said for nourishing yourself with a healthy lunch instead of simply picking at whatever leftover bits and bobs you have left in the cupboards.
The key to maintaining healthy routines throughout winter is definitely preparation! Making sure you’ve done a food shop over the weekend so that you’ve got plenty of options when it comes around to Monday lunch time, laying out your gym kit the night before so you have no excuses when your alarm goes off at 6am. Everything feels that little bit harder over winter so why not try to make it as simple as possible for yourself by putting the prep work in ahead of time!
Remember the Positives
It can be easy to focus on the negatives if you struggle with working from home during winter but I think it’s really important to remember the positives as there are definitely a lot of them. Not having to face a difficult commute and no battling with your colleagues over the temperature in the office to name just a few!
I’ve really found that it’s the little things that make a big difference when it comes to working from home during the winter months. I’m talking hot water bottles at your desk, lighting cosy candles, listening to your favourite podcasts, popping your fairy lights whilst you work and maybe even treating yourself to a hot chocolate break instead of your usual cup of tea.
Why not try starting your day by writing a gratitude list so you really hone in on the good things and start your day with a burst of positivity!
Do you struggle with working from home during Winter? How do you stay motivated and productive throughout the colder months?
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Photography by Ami Ford.