You are grinding away at work. Deadlines are approaching quickly. Emails are pouring in like a rushing river. The tasks you had planned to accomplish in the beginning of the day will have to wait until tomorrow. That cloud of depression and under-achievement rolls in to your mind and you are feeling overwhelmed.
What is a person to do? Take a walk.
It cannot be denied that when workers push away from their desks and computers and take a short jaunt, they return to their desks more productive and with more energy. Their creativity soars. They tend to communicate more clearly and effectively. Plus, they are more focused on the team rather than themselves. The problems that seemed irresolvable now has a fresh set of eyes and all of a sudden, the answers are right before their eyes.
Have you ever had a really tough time communicating with a co-worker? No matter what is said, you just simply don’t see eye-to-eye. You say it is black, she insists it is white, but you are both handed a project that requires you to work together. How do you tackle the communication barrier so that you can move on to tackling the technical aspect of the project? Solution – take a walk together.
When you walk side-by-side and talk side-by-side, the sense of aggression dissipates. Suddenly, neither person is viewed as superior and the focus is shifted to the message rather than the messenger. An old trick that sales people utilize to negotiate a tough contract is to sit on the same side of the desk as the client. The physical barrier of the desk is taken away and the client suddenly feels that the sales person is literally on “his side”, and hence, is more agreeable to the terms of the contract.
The second benefit of taking a walk with your co-worker is to get the creative juices flowing. As your heart rate increases ever so slightly, and your adrenaline rises, and your eyes are taken off the computer or paper on the desk, the mind is free to process information along new pathways. Why do you think companies hold team-building exercises away from the workplace? The eyes and ears have to focus on an environment different than the norm in order to render different results.
So whether you walk the parking lot, climb the stairwells, lap the office, or visit the closest park, push away from your desk as if you were pushing away from that Thanksgiving meal. Grab a coat, breathe deeply and get outside for a refreshing walk. You will be less depressed, more creative, and improve your physical and mental health.