One of the recent Wellbeing and Productivity Hacks sessions I did was on the topic of ‘Plants and Productivity.
The basic idea is that embedding some nature into your daily life can have a positive impact on both your mood and your productivity.
I’ve come across multiple articles and tips along the way suggesting this is the case and during the presentation I posited a few ways that you might be able to add nature to your day.
I thought I’d share them here:
- Indoor plants – get some – https://www.bhg.com.au/indoor-plants-best-house-plants and then gaze lovingly at them
- Take breaks in nature – about 17 minutes a day –https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/brain-waves/201906/how-much-time-in-nature-is-needed-see-benefits
- Have your lunch outside in the sunshine (assuming there is some sunshine)
- Add an outdoor element to your daily commute (walking, riding) –https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/savoring_walk
- Do your exercise in nature – https://www.abc.net.au/life/is-it-better-to-do-your-exercise-outdoors/11420432
- Take micro-breaks using nature images – this forest video is pretty relaxing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJtkKeul5-k
- Incorporate nature sounds into your productivity routine –https://mynoise.net/ has a good range but you can find plenty of others online
- Take time to notice nature (includes photography)- https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/noticing_nature
Exposure to nature works on productivity and wellbeing via a number of pathways:
- It improves our mood and improvements in mood can have all sorts of flow-on benefits – feel better, act better
- It exposes us to better air quality and cleans up air pollution
- It can restore attention after long periods of concentrated work, which I am guessing you experience as a student
- It can lead to greater workplace satisfaction and productivity, i.e. you enjoy being in your workspace more. I have some plants here in my home office.
- It lowers stress and anxiety levels
- We typically engage in other healthy activities when we are in nature – e.g. walking, socialising, exercise, sports etc
- If outside, we get exposure to vitamin D and its many benefits
And as a keen gardener, I find many benefits of regular time spent tending to plants. It appears I am not the only one.
However, one doesn’t need to become Costa from Gardening Australia to get the benefits.
See if you can add just a little bit of nature to your day and notice if it improves your mood or productivity.
And if it does, let me know and perhaps we can share your hack with the broader student community.