Working While Walking

14.9.2015

How to be more productive at your work but not to forget the quality and your wellbeing? In other words to feel better and be better at the same time?

That’s what I’ve been thinking a lot lately.

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Many of us sit in front of the screen most of the day. Sit, think and write. Reports, emails, articles, posts. You name it.

All that sitting has started to annoy me quit a bit (my back and neck don’t like it either). Sometimes I just sit there, mesmerised by the glow of the screen, staring into the distance (the wall that is) and desperately try to scrape the last dust out of my brain and turn it into something useful. Those moments are the worst. They’re complete waste of my time, health and wellbeing. I just can’t afford it.

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Here’s my old way of working: No matter how bad my writer’s block is, I just sit in front of the screen and force myself to write. At least something. At least a sentence. A few words, please! Because it’s working hours and I need to work.

Eventually I get the job done but it has taken me a long time, the quality is questionable and I feel mentally and physically awful.

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After reading the book about Steve Jobs I tested a new way of working. It goes like this: As soon as I notice that my brain get stuck I stand up and start walking.

I walk to drink some water, I take few steps on a balcony or I get the mail.

I do something totally different and “Bang!”, my writer’s block is gone! When I go back inside again I often have new ideas how to continue.

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The new way is good. Way better than my old one! That’s why I’ve developed it further; I’ve invested some of my time in figuring out what else I could do when I’m walking outside.

The result: I can do almost all my planning while walking.

And usually the quality is better. Better than when I’m brainlessly staring at the screen at least. The new ideas somehow seem to pop up faster. And I feel physically better after working on my feet instead sitting down all the time.

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I’ve had this kind of walks lately:

  • I’ve brainstormed outlines for my forthcoming articles.
  • I’ve planned next year’s blog editorial calendar.
  • I’ve planned my first e-book (hopefully published in the end of this year!).

So I grab my phone with me, go outdoors and start working while walking. And every time I get a new idea, I write it down to my Iphone (synchronized with my Macbook of course) and keep on walking.

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You know what has been the most difficult thing for me to learn?

That it’s ok to go for a walk during working hours and it’s ok to feel good about it.

I hope some day working life changes so that this becomes a norm. And not a thing to feel bad about.

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Walking can make miracles for your work and your wellbeing. It’s definitely a topic worth reading more about.

Here’s a good one to start: “Why Everyone From Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin To Steve Jobs Took Long Walks And Why You Should Too”

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