Boost your productivity with breaks the easy way. Check these 10 options and start to get more out of your days without the overwhelm.
The idea of being able to boost your productivity with breaks sounds great, doesn’t it?
But I have to be sincere with you: I used to hate that!
I remember when they implemented a 15-minute break at work…
Most of my colleagues took the time to stretch their legs around 3 PM while I stayed at my desk.
Even though I knew the reasons for that break (we used to have long and stressful days), I simply didn’t feel comfortable with leaving my work unattended.
Guilt is the best word to describe how I felt.
How could I dare to pretend everything was OK and go outside for a walk?
OUT OF QUESTION!!!
I understood my colleagues’ needs, but I just couldn’t see myself doing the same thing.
However, back then, I didn’t know I could improve productivity that way.
Maybe you feel like me, maybe not.
Perhaps you have a job at a company where taking breaks at work isn’t allowed.
Without putting you in conflict with management, yet helping you improve efficiency, is that I collected 10 easy ways you can boost your productivity with breaks.
Check it out!10 tips on how to take breaks at work the easy way. #coaching Click To Tweet
How to take a break to improve productivity
- Take a couple deep breaths
- Go for a walk
- Eat away from your desk
- Eat slowly
- Walk away from your workstation
- Find a break buddy
- Add to your calendar
Take a couple deep breaths
Breathing is always so underrated.
Yes, it’s imperative to survive, but there’s a lot more to it.
When things get tough, close your eyes and take between 5 to 10 deep breaths.
- Inhale for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
- Exhale in 4 seconds.
- Wait for another 2 seconds before starting again.
It’s also excellent to help you reset when dealing with stress.
I’m in favor of having a small bottle of water at reach at all times.
It’s easier to stay hydrated this way.
Yet, you can take advantage of the time you need to refill your bottle for a short break.
Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, you can both stretch your legs and take care of your hydration at the same time.
Talking about stretching, it’s a great “excuse” for a break.
But don’t underestimate the power of office stretches for work productivity.
Do what you feel comfortable depending on your work environment.
Having too many items at sight is synonym for distraction.
When your desk, at work or at home, is full of objects you don’t need at the moment, take a break and organize it.
It’ll support your productivity improvement efforts twice as much.
Go for a walk
While it depends a lot on external factors, whenever possible, go for a walk.
Staying inside all the time, even when taking breaks at work, can be overwhelming.
It doesn’t matter the distance, just change the view for awhile.Discover how to become more productive with breaks. #coaching Click To Tweet
Eat away from your desk
It’s tempting to spend lunch break at the desk to save time.
But you aren’t improving your efficiency with it.
Instead, go to the cafeteria or restaurant at the office. Or switch your working desk for the kitchen’s table if you work from home.
It also prevents extra clutter around you.
Don’t grab an apple in your bag and start eating on your way to the kitchen and eat it so fast you’re finished before even getting there.
Remember why you’re doing it and mindfully acknowledge your need of a break.
Enjoy your meal to the fullest also if it’s just a snack.
Walk away from your workstation
Sometimes it seems to be easier to send a colleague an email or a phone message.
However, why not taking a break at work and stopping by their desk?
Just by removing yourself to the confined environment of your workstation is already a nice opportunity for a restoring break.
If you’re home, don’t shout the kids or your partner from where you are either.
Find a break buddy
And since you’re at your colleague’s desk, why not asking them to join you on your break?
Depending on your availability, together you can:
- Go for a walk.
- Grab a cup of coffee.
- Have a snack.
Productivity will improve for both.
Add to your calendar
If you still don’t know how to take a break at work, add it as an event on your calendar.
Remember the example I gave of my ex-colleagues? They had an informal appointment to take a break at 3 PM every day.
Find the best time according to your responsibilities and don’t feel stressed out if you need to reschedule it.
The most important thing is that you take regular breaks at work.
Taking breaks at work
The frequency and timing of your breaks will depend a lot on your work environment.
In times of lots of pressure, pick an option that won’t take much of your time, but will still do the trick.
Don’t neglect the other alternatives, though.
Just don’t stress out if you can’t go for your daily walk because of a last minute appointment.
Be flexible at all times.
It isn’t the end of your productivity if your break happens 30 minutes after schedule or if your buddy can’t join you this week.
Don’t make it a burden.
Also, take your energy level into consideration when planning your breaks to improve efficiency.
Instead of dropping everything when you’re in the middle of a fruitful brainstorming session, finish what you’re doing first.
Taking a break afterward may even give you more insights.
Avoid distractions that could disrupt your productivity efforts during your breaks.
Social media can be a trap if you aren’t mindful. You may end up wasting precious time because of it.
Phone-free breaks are the best ones!
Does taking a break work?
In general, you can boost your productivity with breaks.
Yet, there’s always the possibility that it isn’t your number one productivity killer.
To find out about other sources of inefficiency, I want to invite you to the 52-week challenge for a more productive you.
52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You
I’m hosting a 52-week productivity challenge on my Facebook Group #PlanWithDebbie.
You can read everything about the challenge here.
How the 52-week productivity challenge works
First of all, grab a copy of the list 52 Things That Are Killing Your Productivity .
After signing up, you’ll be invited to join the Facebook group #PlanWithDebbie.
On the group, I’ll share daily prompts during the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You.
I’ll guide you through a brand-new topic each week.
From Monday through Friday, you’ll learn how you can use Mindful Planning™ to:
- Become more efficient
- Save time
- Manage stress
- Achieve your goals
You can start the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You at any moment of the year.
And you choose whether to follow every single week or to focus on your personal pain points.
If you miss anything, you can always refer to older posts for catch-up or review.
All that FOR FREE!
See you at the challenge
The method I apply to the challenge is exactly the same one I use with my clients: Mindful Planning™.
It’s a 5-step method you can use to all aspects of your life become more productive one day at a time without added stress.
Come and join the 52-Week Challenge For A More Productive You today.
I’m looking forward guiding you towards a successful new year and beyond!
Also published on Medium.