When you take a break at work, does it feel like it’s really doing the trick of helping you shrug off some stress, and give yourself a mental reset so that you can get back into the day with renewed focus? Or does it feel like you’re simply stalling on the work that you want to finish so you can get home already? If it’s the latter, then there’s a good chance that you’re not really making use of your breaks as you should be. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips to ensure that your breaks are doing their job.
Get away from your desk
If you’ve gotten into the habit of sitting and eating your lunch at your desk, try to change that habit as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have a real break room, you can help to refresh your mind a little and take your thoughts away from your work by not being in the same place where you have been working for the past however many hours you’ve been there. A little fresh air can do you a lot of good, too. If you work from home, try to have a designated break spot outside of your home office.
Get up and get moving
First of all, regardless of what kind of work it is that you do, even if you spend your day sitting at a desk (indeed, especially so), you should make sure to check in on your body. Taking the opportunity to get up and walk, stretch, and get the stiffness out of you can do a lot of good. If you have a little extra time during your work breaks, you can even manage to get a light workout in. This is all the easier if you’re working from home. Either way, you can make sure that you’re not feeling stiff and sore by the time you’re headed home for the day.
Take care of your eyes, too
If you work at a monitor or some other sort of screen, then it’s your eyes that could use the opportunity to get a little rest, as well. Try to avoid looking at any screens, including your smartphone, if you feel like they start to get a little agitated by the end of your work day. Bring some eye drops with you, and even take a moment to rest them. If you’re doing the latter, just be sure to set yourself an alarm five minutes before the end of lunch so you don’t accidentally snooze through your return to work.
Engage your brain in a different way
You want to rest, to give your head a break from the stresses of working through your workload, but that doesn’t mean you should fall into a stupor, only to get snapped back to reality once your break is over. It’s a good idea to take the chance to reenergize the brain, as well, and that’s a little easier with the help of things like a Sudoku online puzzle. Do something that gets you working out a different part of your brain, keeping you engaged and active while offering some relaxation.
Make sure that you’re not constantly checking your phone and emails
When you’re on a break, you need to make sure that you are truly on a break. Some days, you might have some urgent news you are waiting for, so exceptions can be made, but for the vast majority of the time, you should turn off notifications from your emails or other work communications while you’re on your break. If you need to, you might want to go as far as leaving your phone behind while you go out and get some lunch.
Don’t get lost scrolling social media
We’ve all been there. When there’s seemingly nothing to do but kill time, it’s very tempting to open up your X feed or to log into the Reddit app and scroll. You may very well see the occasional interesting thing, but scrolling through social media can end up being something of a frustrating process of rifling through the trash to get to those nuggets of gold, and can end up leaving you feeling more dissatisfied than anything. What’s more, it uses up a lot more time than you might think it does, and your break can end much sooner than it feels like it should have.
The purpose of taking a break is to help you get a little rest so that you’re not feeling exhausted and unproductive at the end of the day. With the tips above, you can make sure that you do that.