A cabin retreat is the perfect place to write a novel, design a new product or work on a speech. All of your efforts can be focused on your project and, once you’re finished generating new ideas, you can unwind in nature.
A week at the cabin can help you reflect on the previous year and reduce your stress, too. If you work in a high-stress job, you may particularly benefit from a cabin trip as you take the time to de-stress and focus on your mental health.
However, you can’t expect to show up at your cabin and get straight to work. You need to plan if you want to turn your home in the woods into a productivity haven.
Wi-Fi and Cellular Network
Taking a trip to the cabin is about disconnecting from life’s pressures and focusing on things that really matter. However, if you’re taking a trip to be productive, you may need a stable Wi-Fi connection or a cellular network to support your interests.
If you’re planning to work on anything that requires external research, consider setting up a reliable hotspot in your cabin. There are a few different types of hotspots to choose from, including:
- Cell Phone Hotspots: iOS and Android devices both support cellular hotspots. Simply connect your laptop or PC to your phone via the settings on your phone and start tethering your cellular data to any other device.
- Mobile Hotspots: Dedicated mobile hotspots function similarly to Wi-Fi routers but use cellular data to provide access to the internet.
- Travel Hotspots: These hotspots create a small private network for your devices. This can be particularly helpful if you’re working with sensitive information or are planning to travel regularly while at your cabin.
Note that hotspot speed and bandwidth are limited by the strength of your signal. You should not assume that your cabin will get any access to cellular data, as some cabins fall well outside coverage zones.
If you can connect to the web via the cellular network, check your contract and look for information regarding data caps. You may be surprised to learn that you’ve used all your data for the month and have to work with severely limited speeds until the next billing cycle begins.
Balancing Work with Wellbeing
Working at the cabin is a great way to minimize distractions and focus on the task at hand. However, you may find it tempting to overwork yourself while on a retreat, as nothing is stopping you from burning the midnight candle. You may even create arbitrary goals during your cabin retreat.
Unfortunately, overworking will just lead to burnout, mental exhaustion and more stress — even if you are at the cabin. Just as you would approach work at home, you should apply the same healthy work-life balance mindset to work on vacation. Consider making a few modifications to your routine like:
- Get a “work chair” that you use exclusively for tasks related to your project
- Spend longer preparing your lunch and try to eat more nutritious foods
- Take breaks from your work and exercise in the surrounding area
- Prioritize sleep and try to get 7 - 9 hours of shut-eye every night
These simple changes can make a big difference to your well-being and help you feel more refreshed throughout the entirety of your trip.
If you still find stress lingering beyond these routine changes, you may have to address your stress head-on, which may be the perfect opportunity to do while you’re staying at the cabin. Maybe you’ll journal and investigate what’s been triggering your stress. You could also integrate mindfulness and meditation practices into your daily activities to help soak up the healing properties of your cabin retreat.
Most cabins are set up to promote rest and relaxation. While you should take some time for yourself during a focused retreat, you also need to make a few strategic upgrades that ensure your space promotes productivity.
Start by installing a sunlight lamp in your workspace. If you’re working through the winter months, you may not get to see natural light and could easily become vitamin D deficient while working.
Eliminate clutter in your workspace by bringing in some extra storage. Even small changes, like mounting hooks for coats, can make a big difference to the cleanliness of your cabin office. Pack some zip ties if you’re planning on bringing cables with you, as you don’t want to spend the whole week climbing over tangled wires and power cords.
Consider a few luxury upgrades to your cabin if you really want to make the most of your time away from home. Renovating the kitchen may sound like a headache, but a clean, well-equipped kitchen is essential if you want to cook nutritious meals for yourself during your retreat.
If you’re prone to distraction, consider installing some black-out blinds near your workstation. It’s easy to get distracted by the majesty of nature when working from your cabin, and you’ll easily lose an hour staring out the window. Black-out blinds can minimize your risk of distraction and help you zone in during your productive hours. When it’s time to finish up, relax in an outdoor seating area that helps you decompress.
Working at the cabin is a great way to be more productive. You don’t have to worry about noisy neighbors and can put the rest of the world on mute. However, you may need to make a few strategic changes if you want to make the most of your time away from home. This will keep your mind focused on the task at hand and help you appreciate the time away from work.