A Productivity “Exercise” for Business Owners
A walk in nature is the most productive activity I do. It is so easy to forget this and forge ahead with work indoors, but each time I hike or walk (most often through the Marin Headlands or Mt Tamalpais) I feel completely refreshed, inspired by the ideas and conversation, and better prepared to tackle whatever work challenges I have. In other words, I experience an increase in productivity.
Jonah Lehrer wrote about this topic in a recent column in the Wall Street Journal titled “Mom Was Right: Go Outside” where he cites several studies that tested the impact of time in natural settings. Lehrer wrote, “After a brief exposure to the outdoors, people are more creative, happier and better able to focus.” A study by the University of Kansas in conjunction with Outward Bound found that “hikers in the midst of nature showed a nearly 50% increase in performance on the test of creativity, and the effect held across all age groups.”
For business owners, I feel that this is especially important – a boost to your creative side means enhanced productivity and problem solving skills. For me, I find that being an owner means that your mind is constantly thinking about your business. There is not a time where you can turn-off work, other than trying to distract yourself with a book, tv, movie, game or whatever. But simply being outdoors in a natural setting seems to shift my mind into a more relaxed (and less anxious) space of thinking about the business and life.
How are you planning to get outdoors this July 4th week?