Beyond the Build

Leadership

Take A Walk

I’m a morning person, so I usually come to work all fired up. Then lunch time hits. As the afternoon progresses, I sometimes go from turbo to first gear. I have found a walk outside around our place, even if it’s only 15 minutes, can move the gear up a bit.

Here’s my quick value proposition: Maybe we all should figure out a time once a day to push back from the desk and go outside. It’s amazing what a short quick walk will do to help clear the head and rally for the 4th quarter of the day.

If I’m on a stressful call, I like to sit on our back deck, which is surrounded by a lake. When folks on the phone get anxious, I am living stress free, with nice views. Likewise, when I have a tougher than normal decision to contemplate, getting out in nature seems to bring me a lot of clarity to make resolution much easier.

While not everyone has the same set up that we do, I do think “a walk a day” is beneficial, even if one is in an urban setting. The change in scenery refreshes us and makes us more productive. For me, even a few minutes outside really helps me focus, not having to triage my time to figure out what is the most important next task on my desk.

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about “conference walks,” a moving meeting of a small group all facing forward, so there is no eye contact to consider, or facial expressions. It is said to produce more open discussion. We’ll try it, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.