Nearly everyone agrees: having regular breaks during the work day is important. Indeed, studies indicate that there’s a strong correlation between employee engagement and a solid lunch break. What’s more, 90% of employees say that they feel refreshed and motivated after a little time away from their desk. Obviously, taking breaks is important to maintaining quality performance. But there’s a thin line between taking a beneficial break and procrastinating. Here, we’ll explain how ambitious pros can walk that tightrope and get more done:
Set a Timer
Taking a break for an indeterminate time is practically an invitation to procrastinate. This is especially true for remote employees who don’t inhabit the same space as coworkers or supervisors. Give yourself five, ten, or fifteen minutes to relax and, after that time has elapsed, get right back to work.
Get up & Move
Plain and simple, a sedentary lifestyle can be extremely damaging to your health and wellness. As such, it makes a lot of sense to use your breaks to take a walk around a park or similar light activity. Even exercising in a mild manner can boost endorphins and make you feel better. Plus, this will create more structure to your breaks and help you maintain a consistent work schedule.
Complete Another Task
Do you have trouble getting to everything on your to-do list? Do you find yourself sabotaging your own productivity? If so, then you can find more meaningful ways to spend your breaks during the workday. Rather than zoning off into space for ten minutes, use that free time to call a friend, make an appointment, or read an in-depth article. This way, you can feel good about stepping away from your desk for a few minutes.
Chat with a Coworker
Communal breaks are beneficial for a number of reasons. First, they allow team members who may not usually interact the chance to get to know each other better. This, in turn, should lead to improved collaboration and communication within an office. In addition, communal breaks ensure that neither employee gets distracted from their assignments for too long. The best professionals hold each other accountable and encourage their fellow employees to achieve their best.
Clear Your Mind
It’s no good to take a break if you continue to fret over a task or problem during it. Whether you’re trying to write a blog about a new type of colloid mill or you’re struggling to complete a tax form, it’s important to give yourself time away from a project. This way, you’ll be able to gain proper perspective when you return. If your breaks are too short, or you don’t feel better after the fact, then reconsider how you stay relaxed during the day.