Have you been struggling to come up with the perfect idea for the college essay that you’ve been meaning to write? Having trouble brainstorming ideas for a new business or side project?
By Ariel Gough
Tapping into your creative side can be difficult – especially with the added distraction of friends, family and social media. It takes time, energy and an immense amount of effort to focus and conjure up new ideas.
What if there was a simple way to get your creative juices flowing and escape all of those distractions? We think we’ve found the answer.
According to a Stanford study, a person’s creative inspiration is increased by 60 percent when walking. Researchers found that “a person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down,” even if they’d only walked for a short amount of time. Plus, their creative juices continued to flow even when they sat down.
Some of the greatest minds took this idea to heart. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are known for their walking meetings; Charles Dickens was a “compulsive walker” who logged 30 miles in one day; and Beethoven was an avid walker who took short breaks in between composing some of the most beloved pieces of classical music.
So, what can you do to be more like them and find the time to get walking?
- Instead of sitting at your desk and blankly staring at the computer screen in your dorm room, get up and go for a walk down the hallway.
- Incorporate walking into your workday by setting an alarm to go off every hour to let you know that it’s time to get up from your desk and walk for just 15 minutes.
- Start having walking meetings! Of course, this may not be the best idea for a large group of people but it may work for one-on-one meetings or brainstorming sessions with co-workers.
- Make it a point to go for a walk during your lunch hour. You’ll come back refreshed with a renewed focus and possibly some new ideas.
- Get off the bus or the train one or two stops earlier. That way, you’ll have a further distance to walk and it will give you time to think before you get home and may be easily distracted.
These small changes could help you think about your work or a project from a different perspective, help you brainstorm fresh ideas and increase your productivity. Not to mention – it has been proven that walking is good for your health and can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
What are you waiting for? Throw on a pair of comfy shoes and take a stroll around the block. You may stumble upon your best idea.