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The Best Thing I Did This Week

by Tom Johnson on May 17, 2009 •
categories: technical-writing

runningThis past week I started exercising at lunch—it was the best thing I did all week. Given how sedentary the job of technical writing is, you'd think this would be a no brainer. But in fact, it's not. My company's gym is rarely used. I see just two or three people (out of hundreds) in there during lunch.

While working out, I also listen to podcasts. Lately I'd gotten a bit out of the podcast-listening habit, since I was carpooling with someone who didn't like to take lunch but instead work eight hours straight. After I switched to the bus for transportation (a new bus route opened up in my city), I've been able to embrace a more flexible schedule.

Now that I've been exercising at lunch, I've noticed that I have a lot more energy in the afternoons. I'm not a big exercise guru by any means. I mostly run a little, lift a little, and jump up and down on a small ledge (in an effort to someday dunk a basketball). But the break refreshes my mind, gives me a change of pace, and allows me to feel alive again (unlike the numbness that sets in from sitting in an office chair all day).

This lunchtime hour provides me the only practical time for working out, because when I get home in the evenings, it's so much harder to go for a run with three kids, a wife, dinner, and exhaustion. In contrast, after working for about four hours, I'm ready for a break, and running on a treadmill doesn't look so bad.

If you have an opportunity to work out at lunch, definitely do it. Working out also gives you a perfect opportunity to listen to podcasts. In fact, I can't imagine working out without a podcast. It would be like driving a car without a radio—doable, but not very fun.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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