The Curse of the Computer
If you’re anything like me, you spend a great deal of time on your computer. In that my business is primarily online-based, I can be in front of my computer for hours without a break. This is one reason I do all I can to be very conscious of how often I take breaks and what I do on my breaks.
For 19 of my 22 years in business, I worked out of my home. The upside of working out of my home was I could literally hop out of bed and get to work. The downside of working out of my home was I could literally hop out of bed and get to work. LOL
I now have an office a couple of miles from home. Initially, this was a huge change due to the need to get in my car to drive to my office. After all, I prided myself in the fact that for many years I didn’t have to drive to my office.
Now, I love it. However, even working outside of my home, I can get “chained to my desk.”
It’s as important today as ever for me to get outside to keep my head about me. It’s amazing how we can get sucked into what we are doing and end up resenting the very thing we greatly loved early on. The way around this is to NOT be a workaholic. Often, easier said than done.
Improve your memory
One of the greatest benefits of getting outside is an improved state of mind. Another is improved memory.
According to a study by the University of Michigan, students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups.
“One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other half took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% better than the first time. The ones who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.
“Another similar study on depressed individuals also found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.”
Why we don’t take breaks
Entrepreneurs tend to get very focused on projects and can literally forget to take breaks. We can justify the long-hours, lack of sleep and poor health habits for the sake of building our businesses. Early on in my business, I was very guilty of work habits that were not in my best interest.
The reality is that taking breaks is good for your emotional, physical and spiritual well being. One of the best places to take a break is outside.
Rather than eating lunch at your desk, why not pack a picnic basket and have your own private picnic. Even 15 minutes on the lawn stretched out on a blanket will do wonders for your state of mind. Your focus will improve, as will you attitude.
Heck, you can even plan a picnic with your spouse or significant other. What a great way to connect and rekindle your romance. Sadly, we often put our relationships on the back burner and without realizing it, we are losing the passion we once enjoyed.
A little while outdoors with the person we love is a great way to express our love. And who knows what might come of that. (hint, hint)
With many entrepreneurs you can actually plan your workday out in the open. Simply pack up your laptop, drive to the ocean, mountains, or a park and turn this into your office for the day. The simple change of environment will actually open up your creative channels.
Read a book
What better than getting outside with a good book? Not a book on your computer, but an honest to goodness book you hold in your hands. What a concept.
I love to read physical books. And I love to lay in my hammock listening to the birds, feeling the wind in my face, the warmth of the sun, enjoying a good book.
I tend to have several books going at once. Lately, I’ve been reading the words of John Randolph Price.
If you haven’t done this in a while, give reading a physical book a shot. Even as little as 15 minutes of reading will give you a renewed sense of well-being.
Take a walk
One of the best things you can do to refresh yourself is take a walk outside. There are numerous benefits of walking. According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking improves circulation, leads to a longer life, lightens your mood and helps with weight management.
The bottom line
The bottom line is this; you can reduce your bottom line, improve your state of mind and open up your creativity by regularly getting outside during your workday. It’s up to you to make the decision to do this little something that can have huge benefits for a healthy mind, body and soul.
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