Steve Jobs is arguably the most impactful individual (so far) on the way that we interact with technology in our daily lives. He co-founded Apple in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and began what is widely known as the microcomputer revolution with the launch of the Apple I. Apple is now one of the largest companies in the world with a market value of $880 billion.
With an aggressive personality and reputation of abrasiveness amongst his colleagues, Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985. After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT, a computer platform development company that specialized in producing machines for higher-education and businesses. He also played a vital part in the early stage development of Pixar, whose visual effects-based technology used in the production of their first film Toy Story was made possible by Jobs’s funding.
Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 and introduce products such as the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. Jobs passed away in 2011 after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on for years to come.
How Steve Jobs used walks to boost his creativity
As mentioned in the book Becoming Steve Jobs, Steve often took brainstorming walks with others to inspire creativity and it’s suspected that several of his breakthrough ideas came during these walks – whether they were with colleagues or on his own.
In the book Neurowisdom, neuroscience researchers Mark Waldman and Chris Manning suggest that when one is focused on a task, he or she is using the decision making mind. “Aha! moments” often come when one takes a break from a task and engages the creative mind by allowing for mind-wandering activities like daydreaming.
This is exactly why Jobs was a fan of walking – it was a time when he had perfect opportunity to explore his imagination.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while,” according to the former Apple CEO.
How to incorporate walking into your day to boost creativity
Walking is a great mechanism of inspiring creativity and we’ve identified a few sub-habits that can help you to develop and maintain this healthy and potentially (intellectually) rewarding routine.
1. Take a walk each day
Setting aside some time to walk without purpose in order to let the mind flow and think naturally is the most obvious first step and something that Jobs did extensively. A good time to do this is usually in the morning or evening, when your mind is less distracted by tasks and decision-focused questions. So,
Go for a [x] minute walk in the [morning/evening]
If you have a dog this can be great time to use as creative thinking while also checking off another task that you’d have to do anyhow.
2. Make use of airplane mode
Turning on airplane mode before you go for a walk is a useful trick that helps reduce the chances of distractions like vibrations or ringtones. This allows you to focus on your thoughts, your surroundings, or the person or people accompanying you. So you should also:
Turn on airplane mode before every walk or walking meeting
You can use any number of things as a trigger for switching your phone to airplane mode. For example, if you live in a colder climate perhaps your trigger is putting on a coat or jacket. Better yet, simply leave your phone at your workspace before heading out for your walk.
3. Skip the bus or subway commute
If you’re only a 15-20 minute walk from a meeting or a date why not use your legs instead of driving or using public transportation? It’s another excuse to go for a walk and another opportunity to get creative without having to think about setting aside additional time. You should:
Walk to all appointments that are within [x] miles
One added bonus for this habit is that you’re increasing your steps each day which may help you keep on top of your health and fitness goals over time. Just make sure to plan accordingly and lengthen your commute times in order to arrive in time.