Don’t Know What to Write? Take a Walk

by Martin Malden

Thanks to my time and salary being cut by 30% at my day job, I’ve been able to work at home and focus more time on my Internet work.

So what have been the benefits?

Well it’s nice not to have to work until 1 in the morning because I’m doing 2 jobs, and it’s nice to be able to spend focused time on my on-line work.

But the best benefit of all is being able to go for a walk.

Ha – he’s falling into the trap of having no routine, I hear you say, that’s the start of the slippery slope.

Well, no it isn’t actually.

I have a very good routine. Here it is:

First thing in the morning, after the bathroom: Do my email, stats, and see if there are any questions I can answer on my social sites. This can take up to 2 hours

Second thing: Go for a walk. This usually takes one and a half hours.

Third thing: Start my tasks for the day. This could be to write a post, make a video, put up a new web page, site maintenance or whatever.

Fourth thing: Lunch

Fifth thing: Run any errands that need doing

Sixth thing: Complete any outstanding tasks for the day.

Seventh thing: Email and social sites

Eight thing: Dinner.

And the best part of that is my walk.

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re concentrating on something, and you end up spending hours hunched over your PC.

This is not good for your blood circulation, it’s not good for your clarity of thinking and it’s not good for your health.

Yet, when I’m working my day job as well as my night job this is exactly what I do.

So when I started working at home I made a conscious decision to take a good walk every morning. And, since Hong Kong is very mountainous, a good walk can be a pretty tough workout. Especially in the heat at this time of year.

But the best bit about it is that, in addition to helping me feel great, it’s also helped my writing.

I’ll often not have a clue what to write about once I’ve finished my emails and stats. But by the time I get back from my walk I know what I’m going to publish and whether I’ll publish it as a video or as a written article.

So when I get back I can take my shower and then get down to writing and publishing the article – which I really enjoy doing.

You see, walking is great cardio exercise – especially in the hills around here.

So that gets the blood flowing and all the benefits you get from that.

But it also enables me to put things into perspective and it gives me an hour and a half of absolutely uninterrupted thinking time. Brilliant.

I’m able to work on problems, plan the rest of my day and come up with subjects to write about.

The second (and more expected) benefit is that I feel so much better for having the exercise. My digestion’s better, I sleep better, my sense of humour is better, and the list goes on.

And, while we’re talking about the benefits of exercise, there’s a great article on Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger blog about exercises you can do during the day to release tension in your wrists, elbows and fingers.

These are all parts of our bodies that those of us who spend a lot of time at our PCs rely on. But they’re also parts that can develop painful and debilitating conditions if we’re not careful. Like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (or RSI).

Get a serious does of RSI and your blogging could suddenly become a lot more painful. Or it could be stopped altogether. Not good.

So whenever you’re stuck for something to write about, take a walk.

And, when you get back, hop over to Problogger to watch these videos on elbow, wrist and finger exercises.

And whatever you’re doing, try to break up your time at the PC by standing up, doing some stretching and moving around a bit.

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