5 Minutes Outside

What is it about "going outside" that is so darn productive?


Almost every morning after waking up, I go outside for a few minutes. "Take a break", "greet the morning", "meditate", "thinking time", "me time", "taking a constitutional", whatever you want to call it…I find I do some of my best thinking and get some of my most interesting ideas during this time.

But why?

What is it about "going outside" that is so darn productive? 

I’m not sure that it’s the fact that I’m "outdoors" that’s the key. I think it’s really more of a change of environment. And because I have a small deck attached to my apartment, it’s convenient for me to just step outside, sit on a $5 plastic deck chair from Big Lots, and feel the day’s weather. 

It’s odd really, I can be sitting in my room with iTunes playing, exchanging text messages with friends, reading, or surfing the net, and those same ideas just aren’t present. As soon as I go outside, WHAM!, an idea presents itself.

Some of the ideas have turned into big projects, topics for essays and papers, reflections on my participation in classes, even thoughts about what to do when things aren’t going smoothly with friends or parents. Whatever might pop into my head, I know that just taking a break from my usual routine, stepping outside of my usual space, and sitting quietly for a few moments can be extremely useful.

Sometimes I don’t have great ideas, sometimes I don’t even think at all, and perhaps that’s just as important?

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. VTCP says:

    I hold similar beliefs about outside. I think it comes from a more refreshing free feeling. Rather than be cooped up inside. More of a free flowing thought.

  2. Shawn says:

    Being inside can be great, but, outside is even better. Mostly During the summer, my friends and i would take my ping-pong table outside to play on my deck. We would stick a speaker out the window for music and just relax in the sun.

  3. Tom Bronson says:

    I feel relieved when I lounge alone outside. I temporarily forget about the schoolwork, relationships with peers, and home. When I am outside enjoying the atmosphere I am stunned by the amount of progress humans have made since our existance

  4. Marlen says:

    Yeah, there’s just something about being outside, huh? Though up here in Indiana it’s hard to enjoy the outdoors when it gets so cold in winter. I grew up in South Florida near the beach, so if there’s water around, I’m there!Thanks for posting, you guys.

  5. jenaantonelli says:

    I agree with everything you say, and I believe its because its nature and mother nature is more powerful, and holds more beauty than anything humans attempt to create. if you think about it, its really the onyl natural thing left. we spend all day in rooms, classrooms, buildings, gyms, tv lounges, etc, its all man made. but nature is something we can never recreate to the original. if only people were less selfish and greedy and power hungry, we could preserve more of nature

  6. XNBP says:

    I used to work at a boy scout camp over my summers, and I think it was and will be one of the greatest experiences of my life, mainly because I lived outside in a tent for eight weeks. I just felt pure… It’s a hard feeling to describe, but I do agree with you about how when you’re outside what you’re looking for just kinda pops out at you.

  7. akstrein says:

    I believe that nature is the only way to truly escape the demands and pressure of daily life. Whenever I have a bad day at work or school, I rely on an outdoor walk to alleviate my stress. This gives me a new environment and time to think.

  8. kenzi says:

    you know, i was a huge fan of the same thing. getting up in the morning and having a cup of coffee and kickin back with my dog and just thinking, or not thinking, for like 20 minutes before getting ready for the day, but it seems to have worked a lot better when i was living in miami, versus being back here. plus, i feel smarter by the time my day actually starts, because my brain has been working already.which leads to the conclusion, am smarter when i live in south florida!

  9. mikewray says:

    nature is basic. if you go outside. its just you and the earth. its primal. for our freshman reader we are reading blink. in said book it discusses our knee jerk reactions and how those decisions are typically the best. so keeping your mind on nothing allows your mind to be free of anything. and then boom… the best idea ever. out of nothing.

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