4 outdoor activities to try this winter to boost your productivity
Winter is the season of the year when many people start spending most of their time indoors. You’ll want to get outside this winter to increase your productivity. Being constantly indoors has the effect of mixing up the days. Mixing up days isn’t mentally healthy for anyone – so let’s mix it up a bit by adding outdoor activities to our calendar.
This winter, increase your productivity with outdoor activities
It’s much harder to feel that your life offers the necessary and desired variation when you stay indoors all the time. Even a quick “cold walk” at lunch will boost your productivity and confidence for the afternoon long haul. You’ll want those outdoor breaks for that reason and there are plenty of exciting things to do outside that will help clear your head. Here are four outdoor activities to do when your motivation and productivity are low.
1. Go for a mindful walk
When you find yourself stuck in a confusing loop of unmotivated work, take a walk outside to cool off. Although it can be very cold outside, it will actually help to feel that cold. Sufficient clothing will keep you comfortable when the breeze hits your face, making it easier to focus on the walk itself. The exterior provides a natural separation from the work within. Focus on what is physically in front of you for best results.
This change of environment, this combination of low temperature, fresh air, natural sound and sunlight, puts you in a different state of mind than the one you work with indoors. It lets you think about other things, look at the world outside of your job, and experience it authentically. So grab someone from the office to walk with for a refreshing chat, or set aside a permanent time to walk around once a day to break the monotony of being at your desk.
2. Immerse yourself in nature-based activities
Take a pilgrimage to the next level by researching activities designed for nature like hiking or skiing on weekends. You can, for example, take a walk in the forest away from the city for a few hours and be completely separated from the work that stresses you out. Skiing and hiking are great for solitude if you’re overwhelmed with your relationships at home or work.
If the water doesn’t freeze in your area, rent a rowboat and go out in the water alone for a while. Still, it’s exciting to do these things with friends or family too, and they’re always welcome if it works for you.
You may not be the type of person who needs solitude to recharge your batteries, so bring along all the people you want to stay in touch with. Getting out into nature is all about reclaiming your energy however you see fit. Understand that everyone is different and give yourself time to figure out what works best for you.
Remember you don’t have have to bring people with you if it stresses you out. Instead, being alone with your thoughts gives you the opportunity to renew yourself — and that’s what you’ll want for higher productivity.
3. Go back to your childhood
When you are immersed in labor for a period of time, it is essential to exercise both for your physical and mental health. But structured exercise can easily feel like just another chore and cause you more stress in the long run. Instead, make exercise your nature something to look forward to – in this case, try expanding the meaning of the word “exercise” as much as you want. Growing up in a hot or cold climate, you will surely remember how breathless you would be after playing in the ocean or snow all day. You felt exhausted – and that was great. Think “kid” again, and be that kid.
Snow days (well, ocean days too – I’ve had both) are great for unstructured exercise. Building a snowman (or woman) is a blast, although I prefer not to do most activities alone – how about you? Instead, explore the neighborhood and start a snowball fight – it’s a great way to burn off some energy with the snow falling on you. Neighbors may think you’re crazy, but it’s also invigorating.
Then you can head inside and settle in with a hot cup of tea with a renewed sense of motivation. At the very least, the contrasting environments and mindsets are great for getting away from more structured work. You will come back with renewed focus and you will also be able to work longer.
4. Go to the mountains to boost your productivity
Sometimes longer breaks are needed after a long work week, especially if you have a family with their own responsibilities. Consider a larger, more involved activity that you can get excitedAs tobogganing, skiing or snowboarding. Get out of your house to find the best hill to hit or the nearest mountain station to dust off your skis and relax your brain. Watch for the freebies – like Tuesday ladies night at the local ski resort is fun – you’ll roll out of bed the next day with motivation.
It seems counterintuitive to take this time away from work to be more productive, but in fact, the opposite is true: you need this time to recharge.
A nice break in the fresh air will put a spring in your step and make it much easier for you to concentrate at work and get into the zone. It will also allow you to partake in hobbies you might not otherwise be able to partake in, which will benefit both sides of the spectrum. You will be surprised how much of a difference it makes.
Taking a break where, when and how you want will help you rejuvenate. And, yes, if you haven’t taken this kind of time for yourself in a while, you might be a little stiff (okay, really stiff). But it feels then good – and you will feel alive. Working too much (without a break) makes Jill a boring girl.
Swap your work shoes for snow boots, they will be much more comfortable when you return.
Image Credit: Erik Mclean; pexels; Thanks
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