Get Your Feet Moving!

Feet Walking by Pedro Ribeiro Simoes

Steve Jobs did it. Maybe you should too.

Achieving success as a genealogy professional is more than just being an expert genealogist. Being a successful professional of any sort means taking accountability and responsibility for all aspects of your life including achieving life balance, wellness and health.

There’s more of an irony, I think, in the field of genealogy. Our calling is to connect with generations past and to pass on the bonds developed in the present. If we don’t spend time with our family because we work too much, we are undermining the very core of what we are doing. And if we don’t exercise or eat properly, we may  be robbed of the time to spend with family or to work for clients.

One of the ideas I mention often in my professional topic presentations is the practice of stopping what you are doing, leaving your phone in the car (unless you are truly disciplined enough not to check it) and go for a walk.

I always feel a bit crazy for suggesting this to people in business talks. At the same time, I think it’s absolutely a critical part of the productivity cycle. Even if you’re not a creative professional by trade (artist, writer, etc) we are all creative in how we work. Analyzing a genealogical problem to find a solution can be a very cerebral, creative process. Dreaming up the title of your next talk or article demands some creative brainstorming. And sometimes figuring out how to tactfully reply to a client email would benefit from a 10 minute walk down the road.

I try to walk every morning for 30 minutes. If I can’t walk outside (which is not possible in Eastern Massachusetts this winter!) then I walk inside on a treadmill. But I frequently take a few quick loops around my cul-de-sac after lunch just to get the blood flowing and to take stock of my morning productivity.

Well, it turns out I am not so crazy after all. Today the Canva blog posted an article by Andrew Tate called “Why Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too.” This article cites evidence for the beneficial properties of talking walks during the business day.

The one thing this article mentions that I haven’t done is holding meetings during walks.  I think I might like to try that during the Spring.  Of course, it can be a bit harder to get together with other genealogy professionals as we are so spread apart. Perhaps if we can’t physically be in the same location, we can get together via phone while both walking!

As Spring is starting to approach think about incorporating walks into your work day as part of your business success! Try it and see what results you get. Then stop back here and share your success.

If you have other ideas for encouraging productivity and creativity I would love to hear them!


Photo by: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

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