Many people have the misconception that breaks are only for coffee or bathroom time. But microbreaks, which are as short as 10 minutes, can be used for much more than just a quick stop.
There are many benefits of taking a break every few hours, including improved concentration, reduced risk of burnout, and increased creativity. I
t’s important to take microbreaks in order to prevent your productivity from peaking when you’re sitting in one place for too long. Here, are some ways you can make microbreaks part of your daily routine.
Why Microbreaks are important
When you’re in a position of power, it’s easy to fall into the trap of always working. But when you get stressed, it’s important to take time off.
A 2010 study found that people who take breaks from their work activities are 10 percent less likely to burn out than their less-productive peers.
When you work for a longer period of time, you’re less able to concentrate on complex tasks, even if you’re on the brink of exhaustion.
It’s only natural to want to work straight through the night, but you could end up setting yourself up for a very depressing day or two. As a result, taking short breaks has been proven to increase productivity and your quality of life.
How to take a break
Remember to be consistent when scheduling your breaks. Instead of sporadically taking brief breaks throughout the day, make them a part of your schedule and leave yourself in no doubt as to when the next one is happening.
Use an online tool to schedule them, or write down in a journal when you need a break and when it will occur.
How to make a microbreak even more effective: Evaluate your work so you know exactly where you can take a break without interrupting your workflow, do you need to move away from your desk? If so, make sure you’ll get the full benefit if you spend a few minutes on a walk outside.
If not, try to get up and move around a little bit at a time. For some people, that may be a 20-minute walk around the block.
A few ways to make microbreaks part of your routine
Spend one to two hours every day in a stimulating work environment.
Mix up the activities you do when you get back to your desk: Fit in a short walk around the block, a quick chat with your co-workers, or a brief email check on your commute.
Take a quick walk, unplugging from your electronics. Schedule a 10- to 20-minute break from your desk to get away and recharge your batteries. Keep your phone on silent so you’re forced to get up. Make your break as productive as possible. Not all microbreaks are created equal, the key to making each one count is to decide what you’re going to do and then do it.
Planning your breaks will help you gain the best benefit from them.
Use Remote Outlets on the go, most of us don’t need to leave our office, but some of us need to.
Whether it’s from a conference room, conference call, or library, there are ways to ensure your eyes and ears are in constant contact with your work.
If you need a little more time, consider using conference calls that incorporate video chat.
Make Plans to Take a Break: the best way to take a break is to think about the last week or the most recent week. What were the high points and the low points? What didn’t go as planned? Maybe you can look at a few conversations you had with colleagues and identify the ones you don’t feel comfortable repeating, or the ones you felt like you didn’t have enough control over