I try to take a walk every afternoon. It doesn’t always workout (today it’s rainy here), but I rarely go more than two days in a row without taking a nice long walk around “campus” here or, when I work from home, around Carderock Springs.
We’re meant to move.
If you’re reading this at your desk, let me ask you a question: when was the last time you took a break? Even better, when was the last time you took a walk outside while you were at work?
It may sound ridiculous, but the best way for me to boost productivity is to take breaks. Throughout the day, I take a small break (under 3 minutes) every hour, usually to grab a new cup of coffee. These small breaks are a great way for me to rest my eyes, stop thinking about work for a second, and talk to coworkers, but they never get me out of the office. To get some time out of the office (a real break), I typically take two walks a day, one before noon and one after. These walks are short, usually around 10 minutes, and provide benefits far greater than the “walk” to and from the Mr. Coffee can provide.
You aren’t meant to spend 8 hours a day sitting at your desk staring at a computer screen. It’s bad for your eyes, it’s bad for your body, it’s boring, and it’s terrible for productivity. Getting out of the office, even for few minutes can help with all of this. There’s just no substitute for the head-clearing, perspective-giving power of fresh air.
So if you’ve read this far and you’re still at your desk, get up and take a quick walk around the block. Your sanity, health, and productivity will thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s beautiful outside.