With everything that has been going on, many of us have been spending way more time indoors, more time on our computers, and more time just feeling cooped up. Did you know it can be greatly affecting your productivity both with household tasks and with work? Here we’ll share our number one tip for increased productivity:
Seriously. That's it. It really is just that easy. But, if you’re not convinced, I’ll back it up for you. Continue reading below for why getting outside and away from your desk helps increase productivity.
Just Taking Breaks
I’m sure you’ve heard that breaks are better for productivity. But, why? Well, after a while of constant work, you start to experience what is called “decision fatigue.” Basically, making decisions during your work throughout the day starts to wear down on both your willpower and reasoning ability. This leads to either procrastination or simplistic decision-making (meaning you might make a decision just because it is an easier or safer route that you don’t really have to think about). But, you can easily combat this and renew your decision-making ability by taking breaks!
Additionally, you might know that sleep helps your brain consolidate your memories from the day. But, there are studies that show that resting while you are awake also improves memory formation. So, when you take a moment to rest, you are also helping your brain review and ingrain what you’ve learned so far in your day.
It’s been shown that constant sitting increases your risk for heart disease, depression, diabetes, and obesity. Too bad most of us sit all day - whether we're on our couch, at our desk, taking classes at school, or completing work at home. This can make it all the more important to make a conscious effort to get up from whatever it is that you’re doing and take a walk!
Walking is an accessible, inexpensive, and low-risk form of exercise. I think, by now, we’ve all had it ingrained in us just how great exercise is for both your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that participants after walks display an increasingly positive mood, even more so than after other physical activities. Plus, a strong correlation between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression has been shown in studies. In fact, nature sounds seemingly lower both blood pressure and stress hormones.
Put all that together and it basically means that both walking and nature can greatly affect our mental state - for the better! So, why not try it?
Leaving the House
Since we all know now that a little fresh air does the body good, it’s a good idea to take a few moments in your day to get away from your desk and go somewhere! Even if it’s not a nature walk, changing your scenery and getting your mind off of the task at hand refreshes your mind and leads to being more creative. Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be better at drawing or your next DIY project. Being more creative really means being able to problem solve and have those “aha” moments that allow you to push forward when tackling a task.
Additionally, getting your mind off of a goal that requires your sustained attention can actually renew and strengthen your motivation when you get back to it. So, when they say that you should keep work at the office - they’re right! Taking a break from your big problems, even just for a 30 min lunch break, will actually help you when you get back to it.
Getting Away from your Screen
Did you know your digital screens are out to get you? Our electronic devices are constantly emitting blue light. While blue light is generally benign in nature and helps regulate our sleep schedules, the problem is we are now getting too much of it at all hours of the day. This overexposure to blue light leads to eye strain, headaches, sleep disruption, and more. While we do carry Blue Light lenses to help alleviate these symptoms, the easiest and cheapest thing you can do for yourself is to take more breaks and get away from your screens. (That also means not pulling out your phone on your walk, btw).
So, what do you think?
The next time you’re feeling a little stuck, go ahead and take a break! Walk outside, breathe in some fresh air and get away from your problems. Let us know how it goes! With all the great research backing it up, we’re positive you’ll be more productive than ever (and thanking us for the suggestion - so, you’re welcome).
P.S. Don’t forget to put on your sunglasses!
Sources: Psychology Today, Harvard Medical School