I never go outside. Truly, it’s a problem. While there’s nothing wrong with loving my air-conditioned home and enjoying a nice couch to work on, I also know that I should probably get out more often and enjoy the sunshine.
Every year around this time, I’ll make it a point to sit outside and work every now and then. I’ll feel the sun, get the fresh air, and then go back inside for the rest of the season. But working outside is said to be one of the best things you can do for your productivity and your mental health, so I’m soaking up the sun all week long.
During my usual work day, I’ll often sit in my dark office and not see the sun until I hit my afternoon slump and go for a walk. It usually takes roughly three hours of work until I feel sluggish, tired, and done for the day.
This is obviously not ideal because I usually need to work a little more than three hours before collapsing into depression. I can’t tell you why I don’t work outside on beautiful days. I know that it’s as easy as opening one more door and sitting down on another chair, but for some reason, I don’t do it.
Benefits of Working Outside
I knew it was going to be a warmer week, so I needed to do the proper amount of research in order to make sure working outside was worth the sweat.
Unsurprisingly, it is worth your while to leave your couch and get outside while you work (within reason). Working outside is one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your mood, boost your productivity, alleviate your stress levels, rest your eyes, improve your health, enhance your memory, and a myriad of other benefits.
Working from home can get monotonous, but working inside on some of the most beautiful days of the year ought to be a crime (that I am very guilty of, because comfort).
While I know it’s not possible for everyone with every job to work outside, it can be more accessible than you think. Yes, if you work from home, you’re at a huge advantage. I took my computer and cat outside and didn’t have to worry about a thing after that. If you work at an office job and you’re required to be at your desk all day, it’s going to be a bit more difficult to excuse yourself to get some rays. But something I realized this week is that I didn’t just have to work for my job outside this week.
Once you make it a priority to be outside as much as possible, you’ll find that it’s easy to make an excuse to bask in the sun all day.
If you suffer from midday slumps or feel like you’re too shut-in during your work day, go outside. I promise it’s worth the heat.
I wasn’t sold on the first day of this challenge. It was an unforgivably hot day, and I didn’t love feeling like I had to shower after I went to work. But as the week continued, I fell more and more in love with my little porch, my little neighborhood, and my new routine.
I’m not sure how much of a difference it made in my productivity, but I know that as soon as I got out there, I put on the mindset of, “I’m not moving until I do literally everything I need to do for the day.” Even though I was still at my home, the change of pace and scenery made me feel like I needed to finish all the tasks on my to-do list before I could do anything else.
I also felt better. Yes, air-conditioning is nice. It’s also nice not to have to pick up my cat every time I ducked back inside to get something (time to build a Catio, maybe?). But it was even better to sit outside, enjoy the cool breezes, and feel refreshed at the end of my workday. I even found myself going outside when I didn’t have any work to do. I just wanted to be outside.
There were some negatives to being outside. My neighbors would want to talk to me during their morning walks, so I was more distracted. I also had to change up the time I actually went outside, so as not to become a puddle of sweat immediately.
But in the end, working from my porch was the best thing I could have done with my week.
I’m not sure if I’ll work outside every day of the summer. It does take a few minutes to get everything together and organized, and I can’t wear my pajama uniform like I do when I don’t leave my house all day.
I also had picture-perfect weather all week, but I know if it had stormed, I wouldn’t have gone outside.
But I know that I’ll frequent my porch much more often from now on. I realized that this week I spent the most time on my porch than I have since I moved here over a year ago. I wish it didn’t take a challenge to make me realize how wonderful it was to just take the day and enjoy the sunshine.
If you’re able to work outside, this is your sign. Do it, I promise your day will get better.
Have you ever worked outside all day? Are you going to try to this summer? Comment below!
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