Let’s face it. Getting out of bed and putting on your working hat gets increasingly more difficult as we lose daylight during the winters. Add remote working fatigue—which can occur after a few too many virtual meetings—and it can feel challenging to boost productivity.
Don’t beat yourself up about the seasonal struggle; instead, listen to the science. This suggests we’d all be healthier and more productive if we worked a bit less and got more sleep during these darker months. Try these five easy ways to boost productivity as a remote worker during winter.
1. Stay Hydrated
We all know we should be drinking more water. But did you know that dehydration is linked to symptoms like poor mental health and cognitive function? Nutritional psychologist, Dr. Uma Naidoo, adds that “dehydration can worsen or even precipitate anxiety and staying hydrated is associated with decreased depression and anxiety.”
Stay hydrated by making frequent trips to The Haven’s cafe for spa water or swapping a cup of coffee for mint tea. Include hydrating fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers and lettuce, in your snacks and lunch. Hydration and performance levels will thank you.
2. Beat brain fog
Hibernation season oftentimes leads to excessive consumption of carbs and sweets. Unfortunately, eating foods high in simple carbohydrates leads to crashes in blood sugar and triggers post-meal brain fog. Consuming high amounts of caffeine can have the same effect.
Dr. Naidoo recommends “decreasing simple carbs and including more protein- and fiber-rich foods to optimize nutrients that keep blood sugar levels steady.” Search for cozy recipes that are heavy in veggies, berries, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds.
When it’s snack time, reach for a piece of extra-dark natural chocolate, a handful of walnuts, or berries. These foods are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—your formula for enhanced brainpower and increased focus.
3. Reduce screen time
The average social media user spends nearly 3 hours a day on social platforms. For many people, time spent on social media comes at the expense of doing more important tasks.
The results of a recent study from Sage Journals suggest that one way to reduce your time on social media is to distract yourself. When you get the urge to check your phone, explicitly distract yourself and occupy your mind with something else. Maybe that means taking a stretch break or going for a walk.
Don’t ignore the urge to check your phone. Instead, combat it directly with a different task.
4. Stay focused in a facilitated work session
When you’re struggling to stay focused and ready to ask for help, consider joining a support group like Caveday. Designed for remote workers, Caveday offers daily group focus sessions on Zoom, “like Peloton for work.”
When I participated in one of Caveday’s 50-minute deep work sprints, I spent less than 40 minutes on a task that typically takes over an hour. The facilitated sessions have a proven formula for getting into that coveted flow state of mind.
5. Join a Coworking Space
According to a 2019 survey by Innovation Management, 75-90% of “coworkers” feel more engaged and motivated when surrounded by like professionals. Consequently, this often leads to better productivity and focus on work tasks.
Haven members have reported a stronger sense of community and thus more inclined to spend more time working in a coworking space than a home office. Less distraction from coffee shops and working from home naturally leads to a boost in productivity.
Try The Haven for just $95 your first month, including $200 in meeting room credits, if you’re a Central Oregon resident.
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The Haven Staff