This year I started a new routine that has turned out to fundamentally impact my personal and professional life. At least 3 or 4 times a week after making sure my girls get up and are settled, I go for a walk. That’s it, I go for a walk…
Understanding My Productivity Times
What I’ve come to realize is my morning time is my most productive time of the day. Where I’m most creative and free of distraction from the day to day grind. And unfortunately what typically happens in the morning is I want to tackle whatever tactical things I need to accomplish. You know the drill, your inbox is blinking with tons of new messages and its a natural reaction to knock those out first.
So the practice of stepping away from my desk, email, and task list to take a walk has been liberating. I have a set route in my neighborhood that takes between 30 – 35 minutes so I’m on autopilot and don’t worry about where I’m headed (just need to look out for cars). It’s also a great time to walk in Miami with temperatures in the high 60s and 70s.
Creating A Clearing
That 30 to 35 minutes I let my mind wonder unless there is a specific topic I want to explore more. Then I just let it go, if I find myself coming back to some tactical items I will try to leave those thoughts and move on. It doesn’t always work but more often than not it does.
The other thing I’ve learned during this walk is that I don’t like to have music on. So I don’t walk with earphones on or anything. But that proved to be a problem when I was mid walk and then had an idea. So I decided to walk with my ipod which has a voice memo feature because let’s face it, to walk with a pen a paper would just be silly. The voice memo idea proved to be effective but I wouldn’t always go back to listen to the entire message.
So just recently I decided to walk with my iPhone 6 and that has been awesome. The iPhone gives me flexibility because I have a variety of options. I can take notes on Notepad, record my voice memo, listen to my audio book, or listen to music. All of these options allow me to adapt to whatever mood ends up hitting me during my walk.
And of course let’s not forget the obvious physical benefit of the exercise, that is something that will pay dividends for years to come.