Most of us in this business tend behind a desk – all day, every day. Our ears become permanently glued to our headsets. It doesn’t matter if we work from home or an office. The only difference is the commute; our habits are the same. Once we get to our desks, we allow our work to totally consume us. While we may wander into the kitchen or breakroom for a snack or take a couple of bio breaks throughout the day, we go right back to our desks and pick up where we left off. I am as guilty as the next person: I will go into my home office around 7am and look at the clock – wow, it’s after 6pm!
The fact is we really are not as creative and productive as we think. In reality, the way we have been working is just bad for us mentally and physically. As the day goes on, our ability to focus erodes, our bodies become stiff, our lower extremities swell – this is not good! According to Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiatives: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
The solution is simple – take a walk.
The benefits of walking are well documented. According to the Mayo Clinic and a number of other sources, regular walks will reduce the chance of type 2 diabetes and improve circulation and cardiovascular fitness. Oh yeah, it helps us lose weight, too!
Then there are the mental benefits. For me, a walk allows me to think without distraction. I become more creative and can work through problems more efficiently when I go for a walk.
A walk helps to reduce stress and god knows, there is no shortage of stress in our profession. Even if you haven’t exercised in years – start by simply walking around the block or to the mailbox. Just do it!
Here are a couple of things you can do to get started:
- Schedule your walks. You only need 15 – 20 minutes per walk
- Put it in your calendar with reminders 30 min prior to start time. Mornings usually work best, before your day gets started professionally – it helps to become more alert mentally and get the creative juices flowing.
- Start adding in some time at lunch. When I worked in downtown Seattle, I would choose my lunch spots based on a 10-15 min walk each way.
- Mid-afternoon. This is the toughest time of day for most people. Instead of grabbing a cookie or Coke for a pick-me-up, head outside. You will feel better and your waistline will thank you for it.
- Find a friend
- Very few people succeed at anything on their own. If you work in an office, this is fairly easy. If you work from home, this can be more challenging.
- Ask neighbors as well as other home based agents you know in your area to join you. The camaraderie will help you motivate each other as well as someone with whom you can brainstorm situations.
- If you can’t find anyone to go with you- take the dog!
- Treat your walk as you would a meeting with a customer.
- You will need to set boundaries at work. This is hard for most people because of FOMO – the “Fear of Missing Out”. Every call or email isn’t a life or death situation; YOUR health is, so it’s ok for calls to go to voicemail or email to wait an hour before responding.
- Consider the time walking as “strategic” time. This is the time you spend working on the business, not in it.
- Embrace the practice of “My Time, Your Time”. The most successful people in sales understand the importance of this concept.
I will discuss more about the concept of “My Time, Your Time”, which I learned while working in real estate a number of years ago, in a future column. It can be as essential to your personal and business health as walking.
If you don’t already walk during your work day, do yourself a favor and give it a try. You might be surprised at how good you will feel physically and mentally after only a few days.
Dan Chappelle, MCC works with sales professionals to achieve their full potential by shifting their mindset to produce real results. He speaks internationally on strategic business development in the travel & tourism vertical. His signature keynote & workshop “Secrets of Selling to the Affluent Traveler” helps organizations, entrepreneurs, sales professionals, employees, and business owners gain meaningful competitive advantage. He is also the author of The Wealthy Travel Agent to be published June 2016. Learn more at www.WealthyTravelAgent.com