My mind seems “full” lately — you may have experienced this. While I’ve committed hours and hours each day to absorb words, facts and figures, my devotion to “down time” has been — well, paltry. I’ve neglected that part of work life that we all need; to pause, reflect and process information. (Because of this, I’m certainly less productive.) Being busy is a great thing — information overload is another. To be productive in life and work, we shouldn’t “bully our brains”.
I’ve recently read a fascinating article about how some of the most incredible individuals of the last 400 years, chose to spend their time. (See it here.) While their areas of expertise were varied (and remarkable), there was one obvious link among many of them: From Milton to Tchaikovsky, many set aside time for a daily walk. A few ventured alone. One with family.
Shame on me — I really know better.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
•Digestion. I’m not referring to gastronomy — I’m referring to all of the information you’ve taken on-board today. It’s difficult to see patterns, and develop connections when your brain isn’t allowed the time to process effectively.
•Fresh air. I love my office, but a change of scenery does help me to feel rested and refreshed. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a beach, skyline or a handy mountain range to view, as some of my lucky colleagues. But the breeze is just as refreshing here in the mid-west — and the birds just as vocal.
•Lowered anxiety. With our busy work lives comes our unshakable friend, anxiety. Physical exercise has great way of managing this nagging work life by-product. You simply have to make the commitment to incorporate exercise into your day.
•Digital reprieve. Not sure how much time you must spend in front of a computer — but I do a lot of my work on-line. At times, I simply forget there is more to life than a keyboard.
I’ve committed 20 minutes each day this summer to get out and walk. Whether it’s a stroll around your office building, a nearby park, or a quick trek down the block to grab lunch and back — I challenge you to do the same. (Take a tip from Mozart and keep paper and pencil handy.)
Source: Dr. Marla Gottschalk, linkedin.com, July 24, 2014