Gimme a break.
Gimme . A . Break .
Break me off a piece of that…
Are you singing?
I wonder if the marketing folks at Hershey’s knew they’d be giving us a piece of calm and clarity along with their sweet, crunchy, and oh-so-shareable (or not!) Kit Kat treat.
Regular breaks may seem counterintuitive as your seemingly ever-expanding to-do list grows, so I encourage you to put it to the test today. Very quickly you will see that giving yourself a break—even just five minutes every hour or so—will provide a long list of benefits that will enhance your workflow. In short, a steady set of breaks could be that small change you’ve been searching for to help you meet your next goal!
The duration and activity, or lack of activity, during your break, is up to you. You will reap several benefits no matter how you choose to use the time away from a task. These benefits include:
A boost in productivity.
Bright, fresh, and creative ideas.
Increased energy and lower stress.
Better attention to detail.
Remaining on schedule.
“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” – Maya Angelou
Consider trying different lengths of breaks from your work to find the best cadence for your day. Since some days vary in the number of meetings and/or appointments, so too can your break durations. Your lunch can “count” as a break from work if you actually step away from the laptop and focus on something aside from your current project. Again – step away from the laptop – don’t work through lunch! The goal is simply to make stepping away from your desk part of your routine. And it’s healthy to actually “step away” – get up, stretch, breathe deeply, then take your break, however long.
What about when you’re “in the flow” and don’t want to stop? Setting an alarm reminder on your smartphone to prompt you to pause for a few moments may help when you are working through a highly pressured day. When you feel yourself losing track of time and even blurry-eyed with screen fatigue, that’s a physical and mental notice to get to a “good stopping point” for a short break. Here are some examples of opportune break times:
You finish writing a draft of a presentation - take a break, then go back and spell/grammar check it.
You’re reading through detailed materials from a colleague - take a break, then compile your thoughts for comments and revisions.
You have laboriously entered all receipts from the previous week’s purchases - take a break, then enter the payments you have received.
I’m not suggesting you “do nothing” during a break; consider it your chance to think about or do something different to give your mind a break from a particular task. If you use the time to check a quick item off your to-do list while you give yourself a few minutes away from an in-depth project, it becomes a win-win! Visiting a colleague at their desk instead of emailing them or going outside for a quick walk around the building (or walking your dog if you’re WFH) provides a change of scenery and a few more steps that will make your fitness tracker happy. See, win, win!
When you work with the experts at Benay, you work with people who care about more than just the bottom line. We care about your well-being, too. Take the tasks that weigh you down off your to-do list and put them on ours. Our expert team can help you stay on schedule, be inspired, and increase productivity. Just ask!
Make every day better. Dawn
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"There is a very fine line between success and failure. Just one ingredient can make the difference." — Andrew Lloyd Webber