Procrastination Stoppers: Get a Breath of Fresh Air

Procrastination Stoppers: Get a Breath of Fresh Air

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

11 Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outside

Easing Brain Fatigue with a Walk in the Park

Going Outside—Even in the Cold—Improves Memory, Attention


Strategy 5: Do Some Detective Work <         >  Strategy 7: Break it Down


  1. Thanks Tracy! I appreciate your article. I do find it helpful to get outdoors; particularly seeing nature, breathing the fresh air and listening to my audio books or meditations while walking.

    1. Author

      What did we do before audiobooks or mp3 players, Lol? Thanks for your comment!

  2. This is great information. I try to practice this technique as often as possible. It works!

  3. Tracy, what a great article. I’m one of those who uses the treadmill while watching beautiful scenes on my iPad, but that’s b/c Phoenix weather is super hot much of the year. In my stress management practice, I also urge people to touch in with Nature, as that drains your stress and pumps up your vitality, quickly. We’re on the same wavelength!

    1. Author

      Wow, that’s awesome that you do that! Kudos. One of these days I hope to have a treadmill, but until then it looks like walking my landscaped property line will have to do.

  4. That’s exactly what I did tonight. I was sitting at my computer feeling tense and my camera beckoned me. I picked it up and out we went to the park. I now have enough blog material for at least a month. I came back to the computer much more eager to write. A photo walk always renews me.
    Barbara Radisavljevic recently posted…Meet Jordan Hockett at Studios on the ParkMy Profile

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