For those of you who work in an office, you may find yourself all too often stuck behind a desk, behind a screen and behind the ball. This self-inflicted “chained to our desk” mentality is killing our productivity and damaging our health.  

At Chartwell Agency, we have the opportunity to think creatively every day for clients. Whether we are pitching a clever story angle to a reporter or developing a new website, the competitive industries and forward-thinking clients we serve expect us to help keep them ahead of the curve. This requires us to seek out new ways of viewing opportunities, solving problems and connecting the dots. Quite frankly, I can’t tell you the last time I had my best idea while sitting behind my desk. So, in a plea for more creativity and better health, here are a few reasons to declare independence from your desk. 

Taking a step back may be the right step. 

My colleagues joke with me when we need a good idea. They say, “Go take a shower!” This is because I’ve (over)shared that inspiration strikes for me between the steps of shampooing and adding conditioner – a time when I’m not really thinking about work, but my subconscious is plugging away nonetheless.  While logic and focus are great for simple problems, those that require creativity may need to tap into the subconscious. Thanks to a little something called the Zeigarnik effect, stepping away from the problem and doing something that doesn’t require your full attention allows your brain to continue to chew on it in the backgroundStepping away leads to that “a-ha!” moment, whether you are in the shower, folding laundry or enjoying an episode of Real Housewives. 

Inspiration comes from the world around you. 

I recently attended a conference, and someone from another creative agency shared that they require their team members to “live in color” for at least an hour of every day. For them, this means taking a walk, going to a museum, sitting under a tree – doing something, anything, away from the glare of the computer screens and fluorescent lights of the office. Good marketing and advertising are a reaction to the world around us, so we need to get out in it to best reflect it in our work. 

Create your most productive environment. 

Think about the times when you’re “in the zone,” cranking out great work and feeling the surge of productivity. What was the temperature in the room? Was there a din of ambient noise or absolute silence? Were you in your favorite chair or curled up on the couch? Finding and controlling your ideal environment is central to productivity, and sometimes we don’t have ultimate control over that in an office setting. So, go find your happy place and rock it out. 

Healthy, happy people have better ideas. 

Human bodies are not meant to sit for eight to nine hours a day, and human creativity can’t thrive in a static environment either. Generally speaking, we’ll do our best work when we are healthy and happy. Working from another location, or just stepping away for a quick walk during the day can vastly improve physical and mental health. Studies indicate that sitting is the new smoking, so getting out from behind the desk for a quick walk can help reduce risk for heart diseasediabeteshigh blood pressure, depression, memory problems, and more.  

This July, declare independence from your desk and get out to live in color a little every day!