Let’s Take a Walk
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve adopted a new routine. As you can probably guess by the title that routine is taking a walk. I haven’t been terribly consistent with my walks, however, I’ve been trying to build the habit of taking one each Sunday. Sundays for me usually consistent of some work and some relaxation. Because it’s hard for me to just sit around and relax, I decided one day to just take a walk. I used to take walks really late at night in high school with some friends. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, those were some of the most memorable conversations I’ve ever had. The quiet serenity of the night and the stars in the sky really set up a great setting for deep conversation. Quite frankly, I missed those moments and realized I can have that again if I just start walking again. So here we are. Trying to take a 40+ minute walk each Sunday. So far, I’ve only gone alone but I’m always open to people joining me!
I’ve found some really great benefits to taking these walks. From clearing my head to enjoying the outdoors to sparking new, creative ideas. Little did I know, some pretty successful people enjoyed taking long walks. You may have heard of a few. Does Steve Jobs ring a bell? No? How about Mark Zuckerberg? Nothing, huh? Well, maybe you should get out more often. Anyway, on to the personal benefits of my walks.
Clearing My Head
When I’m out on my walks I like to walk near the river. I’ll toss in my headphones and either listen to my currently favorite music or an audiobook. When I have music on, I usually completely tune out all the thinking flying around my brain and just enjoy my surroundings. I try to get lost in the music or my book. Since I’m generally alone, there’s no conversation to take over my thoughts. It’s just me and the pavement! People who experience runners high probably understand what I mean here. It’s like everything else just disappears and you have this insane level of focus and flow. I love it. I haven’t spent much time away from work lately and this is the perfect way to decompress. The gym is another way, but even in the gym, I feel focused on the lifting so it’s hard for me to truly derail my brain until I just get outside.
Spark New Ideas
Once all of the distracting things are cleared out of my brain, the ideas start flowing. After every single walk, I’ve come back with 2–3 awesome ideas (awesome because I used them right away) for the businesses, podcast, these blogs, or my life in really any capacity. It’s been shown that many of our best ideas come when we’re in a relaxed state. Hence why you feel like a damn genius in the shower or right when you get comfy in bed. If I’m listening to an audiobook while I’m walking I consume information 1000x better. This is when I truly learn and decide how to implement the lessons I learn. If you’d like to generate some cool ideas, check out this article about listening to one song (today it’s G Eazy if you’re wondering) and then just start walking. I promise you’ll come up with something if you just go with the intent of enjoying yourself.
Enjoy the Outdoors
I said it earlier, but I just don’t go outside enough. I spend most of my day behind a computer. I know it’s horrible for me. So this a great time for me to be notification free. No emails, no texts, no nothing. I’ll bring my phone for music/audiobooks but I will never actually check it. I sometimes do a quick Snap Story (brad.ploch) to talk about my walk but then it’s back into my pocket. In this new age of overstimulation, it’s really nice to just be without the phone screen for a decent period of time.
Once the notifications are gone I can focus on me! That’s right, personal time. It’s a great thing. I love the team I work with and I wouldn’t be where I am without them but we all need a break from each other. There’s no denying that. That’s how it is for most people! When you spend 8+ hours of your day with each other, it’s nice to disconnect from that and enjoy some alone time. I did mention earlier that I like to walk with others, but I do really enjoy walking alone. Walks are times where I’m not responsible for anyone but myself. I owe it to myself to just enjoy my time outside because at the end of the day “we can’t give what we don’t have.” And I truly believe that.
So tell me, have you ever tried just taking a walk to clear your mind? What great ideas have you come up with walking? I’m really interested to hear how you capitalize on this awesome use of time.