Summer has officially kicked off and with it comes sunshine and longer days. There's no shortage of beaches, bbqs, and ice cream. Although I love a good double scoop, there's an even better reason to enjoy catching some rays this summer...it can actually increase your productivity.
Harvard physician Eva M. Selhub, co-author of Your Brain on Nature, says a drop of nature is like a drop of morphine to the brain. "It stimulates reward neurons in your brain. It turns off the stress response which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and improved immune response." Increasing your dosage of summer sun can actually boost your brain function, resulting in higher productivity and creativity.
So instead of looking out your office windows distracted by the gorgeous day in front of you, grab your laptop, tablet or phone and head outside!
Although some office environments don't make it easy to incorporate nature into the day, there are a few ways you can still take advantage of the sun and reap its glowing benefits.
Take Your Meeting Outside Of The Boardroom: Rather than going over projections cooped up around a table, take your meeting outside and go for a walk. Visionaries like Steve Jobs, Barak Obama, and Richard Branson were all fans of the walking meetings. Walking and talking literally forces you outside the box, and employees will more than likely generate new and creative ideas.
Eat In Nature: There is no shortage of desk lunches happening as we speak. Why not organize a weekly outdoor lunch with coworkers. It's an easy way to grab some fresh air and recharge for the rest of the day.
Use Other Devices: Have a laptop, tablet or phone? Step outside and work from a café or the park. The change in scenery will help keep you motivated and charged for the rest of the day.
Bring The Outdoors Indoors: For those that just can't get away, there's still options for you. Adding some plants to your desk is a great way bring the outdoors inside and still reap all of the productivity benefits. Ruth K. Raanaas of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, collaborated on a study that showed office plants can aid in concentration. Plants are an easy, cost-effective way to keep motivated and focused throughout the day.