Many of us choose to go walking for a variety of different reasons; whether it is as a way to calm our mind, collect our thoughts, exercise or leisurely time-out from a busy day. But how many of us actually view walking as an outlet for work?
Dan Pallotta wrote for the Harvard Business Review Blog asserting that ‘When it comes to work, walking can dramatically increase productivity.’ If we have an important meeting or presentation to prepare for we immediately think of being chained to our desk surrounded by papers, emails, laptop and phone – essentially all distractions. However, focusing on this project whilst out for a walk ensures your mind is clear with no such distractions and the result is productivity is hugely increased. The benefits of using walking for work time do not just extend to alone occasions, but could also be effective when your team is stumped over a project and sitting around in a stuffy conference room is not providing the success you need. Furthermore, why keep one-to-one talks with colleagues confined to the office? Having a discussion with an employee over a walk could be the change of scenery you need to remove the rigidity of the conversation and increase their willingness to open up.
We have all hit the creativity wall and sat there staring at our computer screen waiting for inspiration to shine through, and as Cognitive Psychologist Lorenza Colzato discovered, walking could even help with this – ‘people who go for a walk or ride a bike four times a week are able to think more creatively than people who lead a sedentary life.’ Exercise releases endorphins which puts you in a more positive, happy mood to help the creative juices flow!
With spring arriving, we should be making the most of the fresh air and sunshine and using outdoor walks to focus on work. It is important to remember that although we have highlighted how beneficial walking is for work time, it is also just as significant to use exercise as ‘me time’ to refresh and rejuvenate your body and mind.
Will this be a technique you trial? Where do your most productive, creative moments take place?