After a recent location scouting trip for a client, it not only dawned on us how much pavement we pounded scouring blocks of D.C. neighborhoods, but how effortless it was to cover so much ground when we focused on the infinite stories around us rather than the number of miles we were hoofing it. Not that we checked but we’re almost certain we shed a few pounds in two days. That wasn’t the goal of course. It was just easier to get in and out of where we needed by foot. We all felt great afterward and maybe it was the crisp air or glowing sunlight but we were also overcome by a flood of ideas bursting out of seemingly nowhere. Well, apparently it wasn’t from nowhere. Looking up a hunch, sure enough, there is proof that creativity increases with a good walk. Already cited by health professionals as mood elevating, along with a host of other health benefits, there is research proving that a brisk walk actually gets your creative juices flowing. Ah ha!
Of course, not everyone is fortunate to get outdoors during the workday but for those who can, don’t take for granted just how beneficial it can be, especially in the middle of a slump. In fact, we could all be doing more to take our work outdoors more often. Here are just a few reasons why:
- More productive meetings: Instead of sitting at a desk for a 15-30 minute pow wow, step outdoors and walk-talk it out with a colleague or client. You’re guaranteed to get the ideas flowing and if nothing else mark one more meeting off the list while getting in your cardio.
- Writer’s block: Grab a pen and paper, go outside and write as you walk. Just jot down what you see or how you feel whether it has anything to do with what you’re working on. Chances are high you’ll shake a few things loose.
- Creative slump: Being stuck in a midday fog when facing a deadline is the worst. What better way to jumpstart your project than with an instant jolt from a break outdoors.
Even if you can’t get away with a full 30 minutes, you can find creative ways to incorporate a brisk walk into your day without even thinking: like running a quick errand around the corner. If all else fails and you don’t have the luxury of a walkout, open a window or door, take a few breaths and soak in a some Vitamin D. Then wait to punch the clock before taking a few laps around the block.