Routine Kills Creativity
The mind boosting power of stepping away from your desk and taking a walk
“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.” — Vilayat Inayat Khan
Let’s be honest. Routines can dull our brains. While you may have originally put routines in place to create order and improve productivity you may now find that you’re stuck in monotony; struggling to break-out and find long-lost creativity.
Walking is a psychologically proven way to clear the mind, boost energy levels, and promote creativity. If you’re not convinced then here are 6 clear signals that you are in need of a walk outside.
1. You Feel Locked Out From Your Brain
Have you ever felt as if you were unable to access your brain processing power?
This happens when you are unable to think clearly. Clarity is very important. It gives you the ability to take important actions.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” — Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
The inability to think clearly is often accompanied by decision fatigue. This is when you can hardly make any good decisions. Making a decision feels like a daunting task.
At this point, your creativity is also massively affected. If you are a creator you can feel frustrated. The creativity to craft your art is not there. If you experience the above it’s time to take a walk.
According to Healthline, walking can increase your creativity by an average of 60%. This was from a journal published by American Psychological Association. The boost in creativity occurs when taking a walk and after taking a walk.
According to Psychology Today, walking also boosts your problem-solving skills.
As with any therapy. Walking will have a higher impact and will be most effective when it's really needed.
2. Your Usual Pace Is Lacking — A Slow Pace Takes Over
We tend to have our own unique pace. Our rhythm. This happens when we are working out at the gym, riding a bike, reading a book, or anything else we do.
“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” — Martha Beck
In other words, the way you do one thing is how you do everything.
Some people are aware of their pace while some aren’t. Being aware of your pace can be super helpful.
An unexpected slow down should be a sign all is not well. When we accept a slower pace than our normal, our productivity hits rock bottom. We tend to spend a lot of time on very small tasks. At the end of the day, we end up with very little work accomplished.
If you experience a massive slow down despite your efforts to combat it. You should definitely consider taking a walk.
3. Your Energy Tank Is Empty
“A man doesn’t need brilliance or genius, all he needs is energy.” — Albert M. Greenfield
Energy is the fuel of life. It’s responsible for all our mortal functions. This is both at the physical dimension and mental dimension.
As Aristotle said:
“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” — Aristotle
Activities that we do can either add energy or draw it. When working we draw energy. When sleeping at night or when eating we replenish our energy.
Mixing activities that draw energy and those that add energy can be a good strategy to remain highly productive.
After long hours of work, our energy tank can run empty. This is the point where we feel like packing our bags and calling it a day.
This can be a frustrating feeling if you wanted to work a little more. Taking a walk is one of the best ways to replenish your energy. It connects us with nature and the outside world.
If you ever feel as if your energy levels are at rock bottom, consider taking a walk.
4. You Are Drifting Away From Your Core Task
When working you mostly focus on one task at a time. Focusing on one task at a time increases your general productivity.
“The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.” — Samuel Smiles
At the end of the day, you end up getting more done. This has other benefits as well.
“When you focus on just one thing at a time, without rushing or procrastinating, you cultivate a sense of timeless awareness that creates feelings of calm and well-being.” — Deepak Chopra
At times we tend to drift from our core task. Drifting from our core task is a sign all is not well.
This occurs when we want to escape from our work. There are several reasons that can make us feel like drifting away. The main one though is procrastination.
Feeling uncomfortable is fine. It’s a sign of progress.
If you are constantly drifting away from your core task and you can’t help it, consider taking a walk.
5. You Are Making Errors Even After Trying Your Best
Have you ever proofread an email you are sending to an important person, then later realized there was a small error in the email?
How come you missed the small error? This is a question you are likely to ask yourself since you had tried to avoid any errors.
When such situations keep coming up. You need to do something about it. You can’t just sit there and continue making errors.
At such a moment, taking a walk is the remedy your brain needs.
“I love walking because it clears your mind, enriches the soul, takes away stress and opens up your eyes to a whole new world .” — Claudette Dudley
If you are constantly making small errors regardless of your efforts to avoid them, consider taking a walk.
6. You No Longer Feel in Control of the Task at Hand — Your Confidence To Complete a Set of Tasks Is Low
Have you ever looked at your to-do list and felt a lack of power to execute?
This can happen from time to time. It’s usually a sign the tasks at hand are overwhelming you. This mainly happens in two situations.
- When your to-do list contains tasks you have never done again, hence you have limited experience.
- When your to-do list is super ambitious. You lack the confidence to accomplish the tasks at hand.
This feeling can be frustrating. It can quickly lead to powerlessness. This is a lack of execution.
To get things done, you need clarity — the power to take action. One of the best ways to clear your mind and get clarity is to take a walk and interact with nature.
As Hippocrates said:
“Walking is man’s best medicine.” — Hippocrates
If you ever feel overwhelmed, consider taking a walk. This will help you think and reflect on the matter. You are likely to approach the challenge in a better way.
Taking a walk can also give you insights on how to make your to-do list better, making it manageable.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir
Taking a walk can be powerful. Nature is filled with energy. From vibrant plants, moving wind, chirps of birds, the rustling of leaves, etc.
Interacting with nature when taking a walk can help us regain our clarity and improve our mental health. This can improve the quality of our life as a whole.
When we are particularly bogged down in routine then getting outside can help us break free and find creativity again.