You’ve heard the mantras:
Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. Go!
Still, humans weren’t really built to sit still for long periods of time and yet, that is what so many of us do every day. We sit, at a desk, for 8+ hours poking our keyboards and staring at our monitors. More and more we are hearing that the path to productivity, is NOT more hours, it is higher QUALITY hours. A fellow writer Nancy Mirtle, shared this article by Rachelle Gardener about interval training for writers. Based on the work of Tony Schwartz Gardener suggests setting a timer for 90 minutes and focusing on writing without interruption. On the days I can make this work with my schedule, it’s gold, pure productivity gold. There is however a catch for me and, I suspect, other writers.
If the diagnosis ADHD had been around 30 years ago, it would have been applied to me. I just can’t sit still for 90 minutes straight. In addition to that I have repetitive stress injuries in my shoulder and hip that I’m trying desperately to avoid re-injuring and I’ve accumulated *ahem* a few extra pounds. 90 minutes of focused work might be in my best interest productivity wise, but it isn’t in the best interest of my physical health.
What’s a writer aching to be productive AND healthy to do?
When my mind inevitably starts to wander and I hear the siren call of Facebook, I get up and move. Sometimes, I just walk around the second floor. Lately, I’ve been integrating my PT exercises with my focused task time. I’ll get up and do 10 reps of a hip flexor exercise or some wall push-ups to strengthen my shoulder. I recently dusted off my free weights and relocated them to my office. I’ve started doing weighted squats and arm curls.
It’s too soon to have any concrete results, with regards to building muscles, but I can say I’ve seen an improvement in my focus. My ADHD brain gets a little break, but I don’t go off into the worm hole that is social media or email.
Think adding some movement to your writing routine would help your productivity? Here are some links to potential exercises.
I am not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV. For the love of all that is good and healthy, PLEASE check with your physician before undertaking any strenuous or new-to-you exercises.
- The Washington Post – Workout at Work – worth the click through just for the animations and the pros & cons
- Lifehack.org – 29 Exercises You Can Do At or Near Your Desk
- Sparks People Exercise Links
- Some of these take up more room than might be available in your standard cubicle, but might be useful in a home office setting.
- Lower Body Exercise
- Upper Body Exercise
What about you? What are you doing to increase productivity and stay healthy?