Recent research by Plos One shows that getting outside and walking around, removing yourself from technology for 3-4 days can really refresh you and improves creativity as much as 50%. What are you doing to unwind and think clearly? Check out the study link at the bottom for more details on the Plos One Study.
I am a walker. I try to walk everyday at a decent pace, outside without any head phones or “technological” distractions. I find this time is when I do my best thinking. If I am working through a business issue, thinking about an upcoming presentation or dealing with a difficult situation; I use this time to think through all the options and have conversations with myself about how I might best tackle something. Sounds crazy, but it really works for me. You should try it!
I know it is hard to detach and especially for 3-4 days at a time! Taking a break daily at least for an hour or so, in my mind, really improves my life in several areas:
1. Exercise – I am getting my 30 minutes a day of brisk walking – great for the heart and not bad for keeping a slim figure either!
2. Fresh Air – deep breathing and getting the fresh air deep into your lungs and gut helps you get oxygen into your blood stream. Just don’t walk next to a highway or major road – pick someplace that is quiet and in nature – not in traffic!
3. Vitamin D – walking outside even for 30 minutes can help you absorb vitamin D which is essential for good health. I do recommend sun screen as you don’t want to risk your skin and getting skin cancer.
4. Brian storming – walk with others and share your ideas. Bounce off the energy and thought processes of others that you might not necessarily interact with during a normal business day. Fresh insight and creativity can result from these discussions.
5. Sleep – on the days when I walk, I find that sleep better at night. Getting enough sleep and quality sleep if important for everyone.
Take a break today and start finding a way that you can get outside on a regular basis. Who knows what ingenious new ideas will come of it or what other benefits you might find. Get out there today!
Check out the study here:
PLOS ONE: Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings.