Light Manual Labor for Regaining Focus While WFH

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Over the last few months, I’ve been writing short stories that tie into a children’s comic book, Grace the Grumpy Pig, which I published not too long ago. However, between teaching classes online and writing, I find that I get a bit restless at my desk all day. I try to get up at least once per hour to do some sort of movement, but have at times found myself pacing back and forth on the balcony. To be fair, it is a large balcony, and letting my mind wander isn’t the worst thing in the world. Sometimes, though, it’s good to be a little productive in-between your productivity. Believe me, I’m not obsessed with productivity. In fact, I went hiking between classes this morning as I had a few hours when I could have instead written a few articles or studied another language. I’m referring to an altogether different kind of productivity and not one that is likely to bring you any income, unfortunately. What I am suggesting is, that when you’re drawing a blank or getting distracted by some outside force, like Instagram, for example, then it may be time to pick up a broom and get to sweeping.

I am not going to bog this down with a lot of scientific research. Most of what I will be saying is subjective, so take it for what it is. Today the chair simply couldn’t keep me in it, but here I am now writing an article just before teaching another online class. We know that physical activity is important for our hearts, minds, and bodies. Why don’t more of us view the small tasks we do around the house as beneficial to all of those? Think about it, if you’re sweeping, mopping, or cleaning the windows — my next task — then you’re getting your blood pumping and keeping the heart at an activity level it likes. The physicality of the activity can lower your stress levels, as well as the positive side effect of creating a cleaner living space. This means less dust for you and others to inhale, a nice smell — depending on your cleaning supplies — and the calmness that comes with having an organized and clean space. If your workspace is a mess, your mind may be in disarray as well. If you’re looking to clear your head and get back on track with your work, then clean your area at the very least and get back to it.

Studies have shown time and time again that having an organized and clean place helps with calmness and lowers anxiety. Think about the times your desk or a colleague’s has documents, notebooks, devices, pens, and the like scattered all over their desk. They search all over for the item you asked for, and they become more desperate and anxious until they finally find it. Compare that to the times when you knew exactly where the requested item was and pulled it out with no problem. It truly is the little things in life that make us happy over time.

I want all of my readers to take care of themselves and live long, healthy lives. Until next time.

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