Want to be more productive at work? Get Outside!
I’m sure that I’m like most you out there. Sitting in my cubicle, banging away on my keyboard at my 9 to 5. Worrying about finding the perfect icon to put in my PowerPoint deck…
It’s no question that we have to pay the bills. The mortgage, the car, the little ones. These are most definitely our priorities, and they should be. But constantly stressing out about your job actually makes you less effective. And being less effective leads to you not getting that promotion you’ve been busting your balls for. It seems counterintuitive I know. It makes sense that the harder you work at your job, the more hours you punch into the clock, and the more time you spend thinking about it, the better employee you will be. The boss man will see all of your hard work, and reward you accordingly.
Unfortunately, burning the candle at both ends takes its toll on your performance. And believe it or not, getting outside can actually have a huge impact on your effectiveness. A recent article from Business Insider (click here) lists 11 reasons why science says you should spend less time in the office. I’m not covering all of them here, but the big takeaways are that getting outdoors more often:
1. Improves short term memory:
Where did I leave my coffee mug again?
In one study, people who went for a walk outside rather than staying in their office, scored 20% higher on a memory test.
2. Restores mental energy:
Definitely fell asleep for like 45 seconds while driving home today.
Even just looking at pictures of nature have shown a boost in mental energy.
3. Relieves stress:
You could say I’m a bit edgy as of late.
A study showed that a group of students that went for an overnighter on the trail had significantly reduced cortisol – stress hormone – than their counterparts.
4. Reduces your risk of early death:
What’s the use of all that money if you’re not around to enjoy it?
Take a breather. Studies show a direct link between the time a person spends in the forest and the measure of overall health.
So, next time you yell at Steve the intern because he brought you a blue marker instead of a green one, pack your bags and head for the trail.