Running a virtual business has its definite perks. For many of us, we aren’t tied to specific working hours, we are free to work from anywhere we want (that has solid wifi, of course), and we literally have the internet as our playground.
The downside? It’s a lot of screen time. A lot of screen time. (Especially when “working hours” stretch around the clock on some days.)
At One Woman Shop HQ -- which happens to be split between New York and Guatemala -- we spend all day, every day, working in Google Docs, managing our inboxes, Gchatting, jamming on Google Hangouts, and even hosting a weekly talk show on Blab.
And after a while, all that screen time can really get to you, threatening our much-needed Solopreneur Sanity. We get burnt out. We find ourselves stuck. Everything seems to take a little bit longer. We found ourselves in this zombie-like state recently, and our conversation (on Gchat, of course) went like this:
Cristina: Haha, on How I Met Your Mother, the guy goes on "wisdom walks." We should do this. Arianna would be proud.
Sara: YES to wisdom walks. Seriously, I feel like that's what my walks have been the past few weeks -- the podcasts I've been listening to have been SO inspiring.
If you know us at all, you’ll immediately know that Arianna is, of course, Arianna Huffington. (We like to think we’re on a first name basis with her.)
After reading her book, Thrive, we both walked away with approximately a million notes of ways to be better in our lives and our businesses, but one thing we both agreed on immediately was that we needed to walk.
Revolutionary? Hardly. Game-changing? Absolutely.
What we mean by Wisdom Walks
While we’re not sure what Barney on HIMYM uses his Wisdom Walks for, we use ours as a time to walk away from work, to get our eyes on something that isn’t backlit, and to let the fresh air inspire us. It’s tough to text, email, or update statuses while you’re in motion (at least if you don’t want to walk into anything), and that’s what makes it so perfect.
Ironically, while we use the time to clear our minds of whatever it is we’re working on, we also find that it’s often on these walks that we think of that thing we were stuck on before.
Oh -- and another reason we love walking? Because it means we’re not sitting. (#plainandsimple)
The medical reasons are plentiful and the plethora of great thinkers and business owners out there who advocate for walking are endless. But for us, even without that professional validation, we’ve seen the difference -- and walk, we will.
How to incorporate more walking into your day
We know what you might be thinking: I just don’t have the time. If that sounds like you, here’s what we have to say: it’s exactly at this point that it becomes crucial that you do it. Here are a few ideas for how to get started:
1. Embark upon a solo wisdom walk. Take a notebook and pen if you happen to get inspired. Or, bring your phone along with you so you can listen to a podcast (Sara was enthralled with Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons on her Wisdom Walks when she was writing Kickstart Your Content.) One rule: Don’t stare at that screen; only use it on an as-needed basis.
2. Set up a walking meeting with a fellow solopreneur. We’re stealing this one from Arianna, who found that most of her best ideas came while she was hiking, and, consequently, most of the planning for The Huffington Post was done on hikes, as well.
3. Shut up and dance. When all else fails -- the weather’s not right; there’s not enough time to make it around the block; you can’t find your shoes -- add in a dance break. Get up from your desk chair/couch/floor, put on some music, and dance it out.
Whether it’s three minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour, Wisdom Walks (and/or dance breaks) will re-energize you, stimulate thoughts you just can’t bring up when you’re entrenched at the computer, and give your eyes (and behind) the break they need to power through another few hours of work.
Get out there, friends -- and tell us how your Wisdom Walk went when it's complete, in the comments below!
PS: Wisdom Walks are just one piece of our Solopreneur Sanity non-negotiables.