Working from home for a year helped me learn new habits that are beneficial for me at work and for my sanity. Let's see how and why.
"It was Jobs that day, out on one of his many walks around the Palo Alto area, where Apple are based. Steve Jobs was famous in the area for his long walks, which he used for exercise, contemplation, problem solving, and even meetings."
For many months now, all week long, two to five times a day, I go for a walk in my neighbourhood. The first walk happens before starting to work but after breakfast. The second walk usually happens in the middle of the morning, between two Zoom meetings or when I think a break would be beneficial. The next one usually happens after lunch, and another one in the middle of the afternoon. Finally, I go for another walk after dinner in the evening. That's a lot of walking, about 10k-13k steps total, daily. It’s something I couldn’t do when working at the office downtown before the pandemic.
Since last year, I learned that taking a break a few times a day makes me more productive. Yes, it sounds obvious, but wait... When I go for a walk, I usually keep thinking about what I need to accomplish for the rest of my workday. I will often find inspiration enabling me to start a new project or task or find a solution to a lingering problem. I come back home with the required mental energy to tackle the next things to accomplish. [It’s a motivating and productivity-boosting habit]. I suspect it helped go through the COVID-19 crisis.
Some might think that you can’t go out for a walk and still be working. Wrong. Going outside while leaving most of my distractions behind is liberating. Walking alone, with my thoughts and nothing else, helps me concentrate on what’s next, how to achieve what I have to do or reflect on what I’ve accomplished and what could have been different. Self-introspection is essential for any improvements.
So, rest assured: if you can chew & walk, you can work & walk. It works for me. Why not you? Go out and take a walk, leave everything behind for a moment, for a walk.
JF Martin, aka Numeric Citizen