In my last post, I talked about how a snowy day can boost productivity.  One of the reasons listed was the impact nature has on productivity (via shoveling snow in that example).  This connection between nature and productivity is an interesting concept that I wanted to further explore.  Could something as simple as going outside help us be more productive people?  And if so, why the heck aren’t we doing it more often?!

As a Productivity Consultant, one of my goals is to bring you new, interesting and effective strategies that will help increase your productivity and job satisfaction.

Connection or Disconnection?  

Our obsession with staying connected could be affecting the amount of time we decide to spend in nature.  For example, I don’t actually have to leave my home or office to find out just about anything I want to know about anyone or anything.  I connect to Facebook to find out what my friends are up to.  I connect to my email to communicate with teachers and colleagues.  I connect to Amazon to buy things.  I’m connecting with you right now, as you read this.  I’m sure many of us connect to Google more times in one day than actual human beings, including our own families.  We can do all of this connecting without ever taking a breath of fresh air.

Don’t get me wrong, being connected is a good thing.  It’s the age we live in.  It’s good for businesses.  It can be good for friends and families that would otherwise not connect, but… (of course, there’s a but), this obsession with being connected is creating a great disconnection between us and nature.  According to many psychological studies, that’s a real problem, affecting everything from our physical health to our moods, and (to get to my point, finally) our productivity.

How Does Nature Boost Productivity?

There are several ways spending even a small amount of time in nature can have a positive impact on your productivity.  Here are a few of my favorites from good sources, backed by studies (in case you need convincing).

1. Nature decreases stress.  Taking a walk near trees, as opposed to a city sidewalk, decreases cortisol (stress hormone), improves blood pressure, and improves heart rate.  (Business Insider)

2.  Trees help your memory.  A University of Michigan study showed that people who walked near trees did 20% better on a memory recall test than those who walked in urban areas.

3.  Nature helps you concentrate.  Study subjects who spent time in nature vs. an urban setting, scored significantly higher on a proofreading test.  (Business Insider)

4.  Nature boosts creativity.  Numerous scientific studies back this one up.  If you’re still skeptical, take a hike through the woods, and feel it for yourself.

5.  Nature makes you happy.  Just 5 minutes outside is all it takes for the mood-boosting effects of nature to kick in.  Of course, more is better, but who doesn’t have 5 minutes? (Prevention Magazine)

Decreased stress levels, enhanced memory and concentration, greater creativity and improved mood are all productivity-boosting qualities.  What’s even better is that you can get them for free at your local forests, parks and trails.

You might argue that you just don’t have the time to get outdoors.  If you’re spending too much time on your virtual connections, contact us at CTC Productivity.   We can help you spend less time sorting through your inbox, to give you more time for a breath of fresh air.   Nature just might be the secret ingredient to helping you live a more productive life.





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