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Although this isn’t necessarily a social media related post I will put some Internet work related spin on it. One of the things I read about Steve Jobs a long time ago was that he liked to take a very long daily walk. Even in his dying days he did he best to walk just to get his brain working. Recently I have tried to incorporate a few daily walks into my schedule. A change of scenery is essential to creativity and there is no better way to change creativity than by doing a physical outdoor activity, even if it is just walking.
What a Daily Walk Does for Me
One thing that Steve Jobs mentioned about his daily walk was that it got his creative juices flowing. I can say the same thing about myself. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a little bit hyper and high strung. When talking on the telephone with my mother or a good friend I have to be walking around the whole time. It is nearly impossible for me to sit in the same place for more than an hour. This is a blessing and it is a curse. It is a blessing in that I burn more calories than I will ever be able to intake. It is also nice to have high energy levels from the minute I wake until the minute my head hits the pillow.
With positives there comes a few negatives. I struggle to sit and relax without thinking about my next goal or business model. When reading a novel I have to be completely engrained in it or my mind starts to wander. Ah, the joys of being Jesse Wojdylo. I have embraced this lifestyle and I recognize that I need to burn off energy in any way possible. I do Crossfit as much as possible. When I don’t have the opportunity to do Crossfit I weight train or cardio train. Even this doesn’t slow me down. In fact, I am usually a little bit wired after the workout.
You can imagine what it is like for me to sit in front of a computer for several hours straight. This is the exact reason I do not do it. Every few hours I stop what I am doing and take a 20 to 30 minute walk. I have several trails in and around where I live so I can take a new trek almost every single day. While walking on these trails I always have thoughts going through my mind. In fact, the majority of my blog post titles and ideas are generated while on my daily walk. Interestingly enough, this one was not.
I Have No Scientific Research to Back This Up
I have zero scientific evidence to back up the fact that a daily walk helps anything in your brain. I am certain there have been research studies, theses and dissertations on the subject. Maybe this weekend I will dive into a couple. As of the writing of this article I am basing everything I know off personal experience and what I have heard from others. Getting up, enjoying a changing of scenery and being physically activity helps with work productivity. I encourage you to give it a try.
I would never encourage you to put your employment in jeopardy by taking three 30 minute walk breaks every day. That said, if you are an asset to your company I am certain they will give you a 15 minute break sometime throughout your eight or ten hour day. Most people call these smoke breaks; I call them creativity breaks. Find someone you work with that wants to enjoy a nice walk and you’ll be surprised at what type of creative conversation takes place when being out and about.
Something else I am trying to incorporate into my lifestyle is driving less and walking more. I live in a college town, Chapel Hill, NC, so most of the amenities are within walking distance. I have downloaded the app My Tracks by Google on my Android phone and I am trying to come up with some new routes around town. It also gives you data on the average speed, the height you climbed and many other cool features. The best thing about My Tracks is you can share everything to Google Drive as well.
If you have been struggling with productivity over the last few weeks I encourage you to take Steve Jobs’ approach and go for a walk. You’d be surprised what will happen when you see things from a different perspective. It might be just what you needed to finally get that new project started.