One of the things I’ve been committing to doing every day is to either take a walk or to go on a bike ride. The goal is to generally get out of the house and to escape the challenge of working from home and to never put on pants.
I love riding my bike, it’s a pretty mindless exercise. I get to pedal like hell, wheel down 30-40 km and get some good exercise. But overall, it’s still an exercise that requires my attention to avoid hitting pedestrians, cars and other objects. I rarely get a free mind to let my thoughts flow and to think about things that come to mind.
This is where walking comes in.
Working at a standing desk already gives me the feeling of having more freedom to step away from the computer, to think about a problem as it comes up.
But walking is different. When I leave the house, the first couple of minutes feel like a lot of noise in my head.
After that, things are starting to slow down. Rather than be there all at once, some thoughts just flow naturally from one to the next, giving me time and peace of mind to actively think about them.
Getting to that stage requires a longer walk for me, I can’t just walk to a shop and back.
The same is true for talking to someone. The peace of mind helps to talk things over, to get away from distractions. I found that it’s nicer to walk and talk than to just sit.
This is even backed by studies now. A recent Standford study found that walking helps foster creative thinking.
If not for exercise, as a creative worker, that alone should give you enough incentive to step away from your computer, to step out of your car, and to just walk. To get the most out of it, leave your phone at home. Fewer distractions make for more time for your mind to wander.
You should try it, you don’t even need a Fitbit, just start walking. It may just make you a happier person too.