Why Moving Around could Improve Your Productivity

Ho Su Wei
4 min readApr 25

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Source: Edgar Chaparro

I am currently in Sarawak during the Raya holidays. My goal is to focus on my own writing and try to plan the administration and marketing for this website. I chose this particular week for obvious reasons, the holiday is long and I get to take a week off without a care for my full time job. This is probably the first time I have taken such a long break to focus on doing something else other than work. Most of the time, I am rushing during my lunch break and after work to write and plan content for the week.

After being here for about 3 days, inspiration hit me to write this article where I felt that I am at the best place in my mind to write and get closer to my goals of having my own writing company. Here’s 4 reasons why I think you should move around to improve your productivity!

#1: It opens up your mindspace

This is cliché, but it actually works. There is just something about switching places that does wonders for your mindspace. This is the third article I am writing in the past 3 days I am here. Ideas keep flowing in my head, as my fingers can’t even keep up with the thoughts running through my mind.

In comparison, for every lunch break I had, I was scrambling my brain to come up with an idea and rushing to finish writing within the hour. After work hours were even worse. I am just so tired coming back at 7.30pm, proceeding to try to write an article in the last 2 hours before heading to bed.

Or maybe, it had something to do with being solely focused on writing articles without the worry of work or being tired. I am not 100% sure, but switching places did refresh my brain.

#2: Soaking in new experiences

I got to tell you. I remember listening and watching people talk about how they were “reinvigorated” after travelling. I felt it was just overrated, and an excuse to not work and achieve your goals. How wrong was I.

I go to the beach every other day here. There’s just something calming about watching the waves and hermit crabs crawling around with my wife. The scenes of families just having fun, and biking around were something I rarely saw in my whole life in Kuala Lumpur. I guess this was the difference for most people outside of the Klang Valley. The rat race is so intense in cities that I forgot what it was actually to live in calm and peace.

Don’t even get me started with the food. Kolo mee and laksa here are such a treat! Most of the time, I am rushing to get my breakfast in about half an hour after taking the train or bus for about 45 minutes. Here in Sarawak, is so different. There are traffic jams but none like the ones in KL. Most of the people are chilled eating at the kopitiam with little worries or stress for the day. I could learn a thing or two.

#3: You can actually focus much more

As much as I like interacting with my colleagues on a daily basis, I realised that having time to myself in another place, gave me time to think about priorities and also focus on my task at hand much better. What’s even better, bosses don’t bother me that much and that is a big thing to have.

Before this, I was writing about one article every 1.5 days. Here, I am writing at a speed that equals to 2 to 3 articles a day. There’s some value to moving around physically that enables you to focus more.

Don’t just limit yourself to one place physically. Get moving around to improve your focus!

#4: You can think more clearly and prioritise

This is underrated. The time to just think and prioritise is something that I thought was just an excuse for people unable to get things done. I was wrong again. The time that I have been spending here allowed me to re-evaluate my priorities in life. When I was writing these 3 days, I realised that I was just churning out content without thinking about what it was for. I forgot my purpose which was to provide information for people who need them to make decisions.

Most importantly, it gave me the “Why” in my writing and made it worthwhile to continue. It also gave me the strength and commitment to work on my own writing company, rather than working for someone else.

My priorities are clear now. Work on my own company. Take the plunge into uncertainty and if I fail, so be it.

Conclusion

You should think about moving around or getting a job that has remote working arrangements. I took one week leave and it is helping me out for my writing. Take that plunge and ask your employer for a remote working arrangement or you risk being pigeonholed into your office.

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Ho Su Wei

Founder of Slice of P.I.E and hopes to provide simple investment, economics and personal development insights to ordinary people.