Have you ever sat at your desk, felt “mentally dry,” and decided to push through this until you completed the task at hand? Me, too.

Sometimes that need to cross things off your to do list can get stronger than your desire to come up with the best ideas.

But this is not an either/or thing. It turns out that movement — particularly walking — can help you come up with more creative ideas. And, frankly, is much less painful than toughing it out.

Here’s what the research shows.


Maybe it’s winter, or you’re in some industrial complex, and there aren’t scenic places to take a comfortable stroll. It turns out this doesn’t matter! You don’t need a beautiful setting. Just the act of walking is enough.

Yes: even being on a treadmill or stair climber (both anathema to me) will have the same affect on your brain as meandering around in nature.

It’s not surprising that Steve Jobs and other silicon valley scions incorporated “walking meetings” into their business routines. For years, I’ve walked around while on the phone, because I felt that being light on my feet translated into being quick on my verbal toes. And, of course, stand-up desks are now the rage.

You don’t have to wait until you get stuck. Get up and move around. Get more parts of your brain working to come up with more ways to get what you want!