21 Ways of Getting Things Done
In this series we’ll take a look at the reasons people procrastinate and tips on overcoming the habit.
Strategy 6: Get a Breath of fresh Air
Feeling stressed over a project you’ve been procrastinating? Creativity taking a hike? Maybe you should take a hike too; in your backyard! Study after study supports the idea that spending time in nature for as little as 15 minutes can elevate mood, increase mental focus, and reduce stress.
In the past, much of the research could only be evaluated indoors. But now with portable brain-scanning technology scientists are confirming what they’ve long suspected—that beneficial cognitive effects result from walking or relaxing in “green space.”
If you’re unable to get outdoors due to living or working in an urban area without trees or gardens to view, take heart! Researchers found that even just looking at pictures of nature scenes improved memory and focus by 20-percent.
Fresh air helps not only psychologically, but physically as well by boosting oxygen intake that clears some of the cobwebs from our brains. Remind yourself that you’re only taking a short break—not procrastinating, something you normally would have done by whipping out the Candy Crush or watching a few episodes of Game of Thrones.
So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a little break, don’t fall into your procrastination habit. Instead, take a brisk walk around a nearby park, your own backyard or tree-lined street. In a pinch you can get on the treadmill in the den while looking at nature scenes. Doing these things has the added physical benefit of boosting your immune system and getting in some (probably) much-needed exercise. Too cold or too hot out? Grab a jacket (or a glass of unsweetened ice tea) and sit on your porch or deck for ten minutes. If all you see is concrete and cars, consider hanging a few posters of beautiful landscapes throughout your home or office.
As Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” (Even your own procrastination.)
For Further Reading