This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers share their secrets to being more productive. See all their #productivityhacks here.

LinkedIn asked me to write about my favorite productivity hack. Mine is simple, but its effects aren’t limited to allowing you to get more work done. In fact, it will positively affect your creativity, your relationships with colleagues and employees, your health and even your outlook on the day and on your life. What is it? Well, I hope you’re not sitting down for this: It’s walking.

While taking walks was always in my arsenal of tricks, the wide-ranging importance of taking walks crystalized for me in the fall of 2010. On a crisp autumn afternoon, I went for a stroll with my friend William Ury, author of the legendary negotiation handbook Getting to Yes. According to Bill, “getting to yes” begins quite literally with a first step.

Walking with others puts you on equal footing, side by side, both focused on what’s ahead (literally and figuratively), both sharing an experience in a beautiful environment (rather than staring at office walls), and allowing for the expansive (not limited by walls) sharing of ideas and the discovery of novel solutions. Presidents have long understood this — notably Ronald Reagan’s walks with Gorbachev, and even West Wing President Jed Bartlet’s meetings-on-the-walk. And if you’re wondering what the “opposite” of taking a walk is, I point to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “The Treatment”, his infamous negotiating tactic at very close range that I can’t imagine is very effective.

Walking is more than just a path to getting to yes, however. If you are buried in e-mails and jumping from meeting to meeting, a quick walk can break up the monotony, something scientists agree helps you return to those replies and conference calls with renewed focus. Walks are ideal for post-meeting review sessions, too. I often find that walking with colleagues after a meeting allows us to reframe our thoughts and shed new light on the issues we’re trying to solve.

And it may seem like a non sequitur to think of walking as “efficient,” but a workday walk is exactly that. You can let your mind freely wander and think creatively while getting in many of your recommended 10,000 steps per day. Not to mention the fact that sitting too much may actually decrease the amount of information you can pull up from your working memory.

So, when you feel like you are stuck in a workday rut, go for a walk. Chances are it will lead you all down a more creative, agreeable and — yes — productive path.

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