You’ve finally found a couple of hours in the day to crack on with work. The kids are being looked after, you’ve locked yourself away in a room with your laptop & you’re ready to storm a work session. Yay, go you!
But the one litle problem you might face here is not taking a break during those 2 hours. Sure, 2 hours isn’t a long time. And your time is so precious that you don’t wanna miss a minute of it making a coffee or stretching out those knots in your shoulders.
Except that if you don’t take these little breaks, even within a short work session, you won’t give yourself the time to think & properly function like you can at your best.
Being “too busy” is never a good enough excuse to not take a break. And so whether you’ve carved out 1 hour or a whole day, don’t panic yourself into thinking that every second has to be ‘productive’ Ironically, if you don’t take breaks then those ‘productive’ minutes won’t be as effective as you’d hoped
Breaks are there to keep you from getting bored! Seriously, think about it – when you’re bored, you just end up losing focus and start to procrastinate. How guilty can we all be of this? I know I am – my mind trails off into all sorts of other thoughts and before i know it the 12 tabs I’ve got open on my laptop fast become 22 tabs.
You may be lucky enough to get in the groove with work, but this won’t last for the whole session, so don’t beat yourself up when you invariably find yourself getting restless.
We’ve constantly got so much going on in our brains, that science & general logic dictates that our brains can’t keep going on an endless loop of activity and focus.
raking a break means you can step back, think about what you’ve just done, reassess what you’re planning on doing next, and whether that’s a priority or not (read the time tips on Prioritizing for some tips if you’ve not already checked it out). And there are loads of options on what to do when you’re taking a break, so pick out your favourites and incorporate them on rotation if you fancy…
• Take a walk around the block – gets the blood pumping & a boost to your mental energies
• Grab a healthy snack – sorry, but junk food is just gonna make you crash quickly in the next part of your session. Nuts, smoothies, seeded toast, fresh fruit, your choice, so make sure you’ve got a little stock in the kitchen.
• Switch on the music – whatever floats your boat. Classical improve your reasoning skills, instrumental helps you emotionally, and faster beats will get your feet moving and you singing along!
• Close your eyes for a few minutes and either just relax or meditate
• Listen to 10 minutes of a podcast – comedy, docu, factual, news, mama related… allow yourself to engage in something different to your work & enter a new world of info for a short while.
• Stretch or do yoga – Several minutes of complete calm through yoga, pilates or stretching can help release any tension & stress that might otherwise be blocking your creative juices.
• Exercise – so you won’t have time to do a full-on aerobics class! But 5 minutes with some dumbbells, a kettlebell, or doing jumping jacks or crunches boosts your blood flow and gets you physically & mentally refreshed. Plus it’s an all-weather solution if you can’t walk around the block in pouring rain.
So the moral here is no matter what’s going on or how busy you fear you are, always find time to take a break – it’s likely gonna be the best thing for you and your work.
Til next time,