You’re a workaholic and it’s all too easy once you’ve sat down at your desk to find that the first time you lift your head it’s lunchtime or even the end of a working day. You’ve got a pressing deadline, a demanding boss, a huge to-do list, and no-time to take a break, no matter what the benefits some blogger somewhere bangs on about. However, what if taking a mini-break actually helps you to meet that deadline, or to find that creative spark within? Interested yet?
Whether you work from home, in an office, a cubicle, or spend your life rushing from one meeting to another, there are so many benefits to taking a break, not least because it’s a quick solution to inspiring productivity.
1. It keeps us healthy and happy
Human beings are not meant to be sedentary, but in our haste to race to a meeting or finish a tender, we forget about looking up from our laptop, letting our brains take a break and our bodies have the exercise they deserve.
Two out of three adults in the UK fail to achieve the 150 minutes of recommended physical activity a week. If you work exercise into your day then it becomes less about trying to fit a large chunk of exercise into an ever-demanding diary, and more about a mini-break to boost your metabolism and release some happy endorphins. We’ll be healthier and happier, and our bodies and our brains will thank us for it, and reward us with more motivation to get us through a hectic working day.
2. It helps us refocus and stimulates productivity
If you’re trying to hit a deadline and you’re working like a maniac, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish amongst the panic to ‘just get it done’. If we take a step back we can better appreciate how much we’ve accomplished. Taking a quick or long time-out from your to-do list can help you to get your groove back! If you’ve a creative project to complete, or a complex plan to craft, you will return to your desk refocused, rejuvenated, and ready for the next challenge.
3. Improves your sense of achievement
A never-ending list of tasks can be hard to see beyond. Instead, break your work into smaller chunks, such as hourly tasks. It will help stimulate you to complete them in the allotted time, improve your overall timekeeping, and as you work towards them you’ll feel like you’re achieving something. When you’ve completed that chunk of work, have a mini celebration; go and make a cup of tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate, although try to leave the gin until you get home), or do some squats at your desk, whatever your preference. The main point is to take a break and get your eyes away from your screen, your bum off your seat, and recognise that you’ve ticked one thing off that to-do list.
In our busy modern, entrepreneurial lives, we don’t always have the time or luxury of taking a long break, but we can still reap the benefits of taking a break from our desks. Put down your pen, and step away from your mouse. Go for a brisk walk around the block, make (and drink) a cup of tea, savour a slice of cake. It’s the break itself that’s important. You’ll be surprised at how often you get used to it and how much more productive it makes you!
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