My Current Short, Effective Life-Enhancer

For a quick mood, energy, and focus boost, materials required: a water bottle, your body, 10 minutes or less of your time.

My new favorite general life-enhancer:

  • fill up a water bottle (currently using the Vapur Element based on a review by Sebastian Marshall; I have the 0.7L and love it)
  • go for a 10-minute-ish lap around the neighborhood on foot, and drain the water bottle before you go back inside.

That’s it.

Stimulates thinking, gets me up and moving, gets me out into the world and not staring at my screen dissociating, and hydrates me.

Walking, a Stanford study[1] finds, improves creativity while walking, and that creativity-boosting effect remains for a while even after you go back to work. For somebody whose daily work (thinking through practice problems, coming up with ideas for writing) usually depends on flashes of creative insight, this is a huge boon; even a 1% increase will stack up over time. Do something enough times and your brain’s physical structure will change to make that more efficient. I’m betting being creative is part mindset, part skill, part habit.

While that’s going, I also am spending time moving, getting blood flow around my body, and also am not staring at my screen dissociating from the world around me for long periods of time (important for flow, but engaging with the world is also important for creativity).

Almost as an afterthought, I’ve also had just over two-thirds of a liter, of a health- and mood-boosting 2.5L daily water intake[2].

10 minutes, a lasting boost to creativity, a boost to blood flow, and mood- and health-enhancing hydration. This is zero-downside, zero-risk (look both ways!), minimal investment, and great reward.

Now, I’m just about to go go fill up my bottle—no, really, I’m doing this after finishing up this post, I promise!

Hope you find this a useful tip, friends.

  1. Oppezzo and Schwartz. “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition Vol. 40, No. 4 (2014): 1142–1152. Print.  ↩
  2. Pross et al. “Effects of changes in water intake on mood of high and low drinkers.” PubMed (2014): Web.  ↩

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