Want to be More Productive? Go Outside!
Do you want to be more productive at work? Then here’s some good news: Simply spending more time in natural daylight could give your performance and productivity a boost.
Exposure to natural light makes us more productive
Numerous studies have shown that exposure to natural light is important to our physical and mental health. According to one study that assessed the impact of windows and daylight exposure on office workers’ overall health and sleep quality, people in windowless offices experienced “role limitation” due to physical problems and lower vitality. In other words, their normal daily activities were negatively impacted — including their performance and productivity at work.
Tips for getting more sunlight in your day
Even if you work in a cubicle far away from your office’s only window, there are plenty of ways you can get more sunlight in your day.
- Go to bed on time and rise early. Instead of staying up late and sleeping late, you should maximize the number of waking hours you can be exposed to natural light. By simply getting up at six o’clock instead of seven, you can add a whole hour of natural light to your day.
- Park further away from the office and walk. Many of us get into our cars in our garage, drive to work, park in a parking garage, and walk a few feet to the entrance of our offices. A better option is to park a few blocks away from the office and walk — and as a bonus, you also get more exercise.
- Exercise outside. Instead of doing all your workouts in the gym, take them outside. Go for a walk or a run, take a bike ride, or even simply lift some weights in your back yard.
- Take your breaks near a window or outside. Use your breaks to get a five or 10-minute dose of natural light. Try to go outside as much as possible, but if this isn’t an option, find a spot near a window to enjoy your break.
- Go outside at lunchtime. Energize yourself at midday by getting out of the office and into the fresh air. While you can simply eat your lunch outdoors, you can also go for a walk and get the positive effects of both exercise and natural light.
- Sit near a window whenever possible. If you work on a laptop, ask your supervisor if you can spend some time working by a window. Likewise, choose a window seat when you’re commuting, and try to spend as much time as possible in light, airy rooms when your indoors at home.
Remember that it doesn’t always have to be nice weather to reap the benefits of natural light. So don’t make excuses when it’s cold or rainy: Just bundle up and bring an umbrella! You’ll feel better for the effort.