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How Cycling to Work Has Helped Boost My Creativity

Posted by Andrew Stickelman on Sep 14, 2017 12:35:00 PM

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It’s absolutely great being able to work in a creative industry, but it can be difficult to stay enthusiastic and inspired all the time. As a graphic designer, I am always expected to have creative ideas and I am often expected to come up with these creative ideas under tight deadlines.

This is part of the reason why I love my job, however, it can also become rather draining when you have to do all of this while dealing with creative blocks.

A few months ago, I began to notice that my creative blocks were happening more frequently and they were making my job miserable. After taking time to locate the reason behind this, I realized that my issue was not how I was spending my time at work or how I was ending my days after work, but how I was starting my days before I got to work

.Like many creatives, I am definitely not a morning person and usually wind up going to bed later than I probably should. As a result, I would constantly find myself hitting the snooze button until the last minute, rushing to get ready in the morning, and then running into the office to just barely make it into work on time. My bad habits began to throw offmy entire day because I would spend at least 10 minutes settling down after running into work and then it would take me another hour to get fully mentally prepared for work. This would often leave me drained and eventually I noticed that this was the reason I was struggling so much at work.

I knew that in order to get past this, I would have to change my morning routine up a bit. The only problem was that I hate running and going to the rock gym in the morning wasn’t really an option. I needed to find a reason to get up a little earlier in the morning otherwise I knew I would just go back to my bad habits, so I eventually came up with the idea of cycling to work.

I only live 10 miles away from our office, which is located in Southern California where the weather is always nice, and I had a bike so there was really no reason not to ride to work. I was a little hesitant to start doing this at first but after trying it once, I noticed a huge difference in my performance and attitude towards work. I was more energetic in the mornings, I didn’t feel like I needed to take as many breaks, I noticed a huge increase in my overall happiness at work, and most importantly, my moments of creative block dramatically declined.

“A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress

.The study also reported that workers who exercised felt their interpersonal performance was better, they took fewer breaks and found it easier to finish work on time.” [1]

I remember going to Europe a few years back and I saw a lot of people commuting by bike and wondered why they didn’t just get a car. Being from the United States, you don’t see a lot of people commuting by bike so it seemed weird to me that more Europeans didn’t commute by car instead. After trying it myself, I am now a firm believer in the benefits of cycling to work and would highly recommend that anyone working in a creative industry would at least give it a shot. Even if it’s only once per week or even if you drive most of the way and cycle part of the trip, I promise that you will notice a huge improvement in your ability to be creative in the office and you will also benefit from getting in much better shape both physically and mentally along the way.

If that isn’t enough of a reason for you to give it a shot, here is a list of other inspiring numbers to get you on your bike: [2]

01. Cycling is 20 times less dangerous than not cycling to work

02. You have a 97% chance of not getting rained on

03. Cycling in most cases, is twice as fast as a car in traffic

04. 4 miles is the average cycle commute

05. At current rates, 60% of the population will be obese by 2050

06. 10 bikes can be parked in the space it takes to park one car

07. A middle-aged cyclist is typically as fit as someone 10 years younger

08. 16 mile commute = 800 calories. That’s 4 bags of chips, 6 bananas, or 6 cans of coke

09. 60% of car trips are shorter than 5 miles

 

[1] http://www.bikeradar.com/us/beginners/gear/article/30-reasons-to-take-up-cycling-23965/

[2] http://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/five-reasons-to-cycle-to-work-29878/

 


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