During Your Next Meeting - Walk

If you’re like me, you have a lot of meetings. In a typical day, I probably spend 30% of it in meetings with people, whether brainstorming something, updating status or collaborating on a solution. If that 30% number is true, it means I probably spend about 2.4 hours a day just sitting in meetings. That’s a lot of time.

Recently, I started changing it up. For as many meetings as possible, I try to get outside and walk during the call (I work from home, so almost all my meetings are by phone), in order to get some exercise while I chat with folks. Generally, it’s worked really well, and I’ve found that I can be just as productive in a meeting when I’m not in front of the computer as when I am.

This morning, I was reading a bit from Contagious by Jonah Berger, and he was talking about the influence of psychological arousal on our likelihood to share information and stories with others, where he notes: “Any sort of arousal, whether from emotional or physical sources…can boost transmission [of ideas and information]”. This underscores yet another benefit of the walking meeting: if you’re walking while meeting with folks, you’re actually more likely to share information and ideas, an activity that, no doubt, can lead to more productive collaboration.

I’m not the only one who does this, and it certainly wasn’t my idea. Mark Zuckerburg, the folks at LinkedIn, and hell, even Barack Obama prefer walking meetings. Brad Feld has 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute routes around Boulder that he uses for meetings, depending on the scheduled length. It’s pretty clear that a lot of top thinkers meet on their feet, so it made sense to work that into my daily activities as well.

I’m still ironing out some of the specifics. Often, I need to be reviewing documents during a meeting, and have been able to successfully use the GoToMeeting app on my phone to view someone’s screen while walking, although the brightness of the sun can be an issue from time to time. I’m working on finding a way to move more of my meetings to a walking format, and eliminate the need to be in front of the computer all the time.

So, next time you have a meeting, get up and walk and talk. Take your coworker with you and do a lap around the building, or a few blocks downtown. If you work from home, start taking those conference calls outside, and get a couple miles in while you chat.

Do you do walking meetings? What tricks have you found that make it easier to meet while walking?

Related Posts

Default Yes vs. Default No

Are you and your team members default yes, or default no? One is good for startups, the other not so much.

Check Your Echo Chamber

The people you surround yourself with create your reality. Choose carefully.

Don't Forget the Goal

There's only one thing that matters when you're building software.

How To Get a Job Offer

Want to get a job in the field you love easily? This is how.

Required Reading for All Couples

If you're married, about to get married, or just committed to someone for a long period of time, these three books are absolutely required reading.

I Launched a New Podcast, and I Want You to Call In

I just launched a new podcast called Design By Committee, dedicated to answering your questions about UX, product design, content, strategy and anything else tech.

Shitty Sales Have Made Product Development Harder

Shitty, one-sided sales processes have made product development much more difficult for early stage startups.

Why I'm Cold Emailing You

You might have gotten a cold email from me. Tasteless? Some people think so. Here's why I'm doing it.

How I Found Your Email

I've been cold emailing a lot of people, and many folks are surprised that I found their email. Here's where I dug it up.

Sales is User Research, Undercover