Walking It Off

May 9, 2016

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title pageWhen I’m not on site recording, I spend a lot of time at ImageThink HQ tending to in-house studio duties. It’s no mystery that working at a desk for an extended period that it takes a bit of a toll, since we are constrained to a seated, crouched position for a long time. So we have standing desks, treadmill desks, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume hoverboard desks in the world providing thrills (and a fire hazard?) for the 9 to 5 children at heart.  treadmill desk

Even with those measures, there’s still the matter of the work that you’re doing.

Deadlines…

Stacked Tasks…

Emails…

Mountains of Paper…

PRESSURE… 

pressure

It’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed and flustered by what appears to be insurmountable obligations, and swimming in the thick of them only compounds that stress.

So what does one do in those situations? Believe it or not, walking away (BRIEFLY!!!) is a very good solution. There are a number of articles that speak to the human brain’s need for variety and stimulation in order to improve focus, and the link between physical activity and productivity. There’s also no shortage of methods to employ to break up the monotony of working in a single extended period. But a simple solution for the work place doldrums is to incorporate a walk into lunch time, which is already a built-in midday break in your routine.

From an article in the Atlantic about travel:

“Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms”

-Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School

“Cognitive flexibility is the mind’s ability to jump between different ideas, a key component of creativity.”

This article is about international travel, but the underlying point is that different experiences give us the flexibility and perspective needed to approach a number of situations in a creative, effective way. Also, from the perspective of a creative, nothing stunts my process like feeling shut in, so I take a stroll around the office, through Crown Heights to get a feel for the world at large. It usually gives perspective to the stress I may have built around the office, and allows me to reenter with a clear head and a sharper focus on what I need to get done.

So get some fresh air- you, your colleagues, your clients, and your creative output will all benefit from it. 

walking-fresh air

Derrick Dent, graphic recorder at ImageThink