It’s been cold in DC for the last few weeks. Not just chilly, but bone-biting, wind-driving, snow-piling cold. The bulk of people in the city have spent their time hiding indoors, layering like they live in the North Pole, and Ubering places they could easily have walked. I Ubered 4 blocks the other day. It was embarrassing.
Not anymore, though. The sun came out this weekend, we hit the mid-60s, and people have been running around like it’s the middle of summer. All anyone wants to do is join in the outdoor fun, but what if we have too much work to get done? (Yes I know that rhymed. No I didn’t do it on purpose. Yes it was still awesome.)
On days like this, when warm weather is still fresh and novel, it’s important to take advantage of what you can. It’s important to get outside. It’s important to breathe the fresh air. It’s important recharge your batteries like one of Elon Musk’s solar panels. The question is: How?
I’m an extrovert – always have been and always will be. I’m also a big believer in marrying work and play, being active, and spending as much time outdoors as possible. So if you, like me, have far too much work to do today, but refuse to let the beautiful weather pass you by, there are a few things you can do:
- Work Outside – Okay, so no shit this is the most obvious answer of them all. But if it’s so obvious, why aren’t you doing it? There’s absolutely no reason (especially in these days of mobile internet) you can’t work outside. Go to the roof, the patio, the park. Bring your laptop, notebook, papers to grade, headphones (if you want), and sunglasses. Sit down, smile, and work a little happier.
- Take 15 Minute Breaks To Do Errands – Errands? Errands?!? Running errands is not a break, right? Or is it? Try taking fifteen minute breaks from your work to walk to the grocery store, or drive there with the windows down. Take a walk. Go to Starbucks. Hit up CVS. If you want to go absolutely nuts, go the dog park and run around petting all the random peoples’ dogs (if you have your own dog I’m very jealous). Do anything that involves getting out of the house.
- Work With Friends – Know anybody else that has to get stuff done, too? Meet at the local coffeeshop, or at the park. Everyone knows mutual accountability works fairly well when it comes to doing work with friends. Sure you’ll get sidetracked and argue about your March Madness bracket for 30 minutes while not getting anything done, but that was also kind of the point, right?
- Go For A Run – Just kidding. I hate running.
- Reward Yourself – Make outdoor plans with friends (drinking at a beerhaus being the preferable option), but make them for two hours from now. Don’t let yourself go out until your work is done.
- Do All Brainstorming / Problem-Solving / Outlining / Plotting Outside – If you have any work that’s mostly made up of heavy thinking, unplug yourself from your computer, grab some music, and head outside. Think as you walk – you never know which of your surroundings might give you inspiration. At the very least, even if you don’t solve any problems, you’ll have recharged your brain and can get back to work when you return. More likely than not lightning will strike in the form of at least one idea – write it down on your iPhone so you don’t forget it.
But whatever you do, please, please, do not let this amazing weather go to waste.