The Importance of Breaks: 4 Tips to Make Your Break Worth It


Follow these four quick and simple tips to get out of your seat and into some much-needed refreshment.

Woman relaxing at work desk

We’ve all had workdays where we’ve prioritized pushing through to get more tasks checked off our lists instead of listening to our bodies and minds to take breaks when necessary. Whether you’ve missed your lunch break after being sucked into your inbox or sat for too long in consecutive meetings, you deserve to take a break!

It’s time to put the “ain’t no rest for the wicked” mentality to… well, rest. Resting is an important part to any day of the week— weekend or workday. In fact, taking just 30 second breaks can increase your productivity by up to 13 percent!

Follow these four quick and simple tips to get out of your seat and into some much-needed refreshment.

Tip 1: Time Your Breaks

Chances are you use an alarm to help get you up in the morning. Alarms aren’t just good for getting you out of bed; they can also help you get away from your desk. Use your alarm and schedule reminders to take breaks throughout the day.

Try setting a timer on your phone or watch to go off every 80 minutes. Once it starts ringing, drop everything and unwind for at least five to ten minutes.

Timers are also a great tool to use when implementing the Pomodoro Technique. This time management method requires one to work in 25-minute stretches of focused work broken by a five-minute break. After working through this pattern for four consecutive intervals, take a longer break (typically 15-30 minutes.)

Whether you’re chatting up coworkers, going on a walk around the floor, or grabbing a cup of coffee or snack from the breakroom, be sure to prioritize getting away from your work for a bit.

Tip 2: Look Away

We’re not the only ones working hard during the day. Our eyes are some hardworking associates, too. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can do a number on your eyes. Prioritize giving them a proper break during the day.

Look away from your electronic devices to reduce eye tension. Every 10 minutes, try taking a 15-second break from your computer, phone, and tablet screens. This can reduce your fatigue by about 50 percent. You don’t need to travel far, either. Just pick a spot at least 10 feet away from your desk to glance at for a while to give your eyes some new perspective. Adjusting the distance of your gaze allows your eyes to relax.

Tip 3: Take It Outside

There’s a great big world out there just begging to be explored! We often forget about it when we feel chained to our desks. Step outside and take a lap or two around your building. It’s not only beneficial to your physical health, but it can also improve your mental state, too. Just the view of nature from a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

So, walk out the door, put on some headphones, and play your favorite playlist or podcast while you walk around.

Tip 4: Get Social

If you don’t like taking breaks all on your lonesome, loop in some coworkers.

If you really want to get involved and encourage breaks for your whole team, consider creating a small social committee. Gather two or three coworkers and come up with a monthly events calendar. Plan floor-wide or team-wide celebrations around food holidays and national events like the Olympics to bring people together and help them take a break throughout their busy workday.

Some key things to think about:

  • Confirm your leadership is on board. If your company doesn’t typically host social events, this could be a great opportunity to positively impact company culture.
  • Get the word out! Email and calendar invites are simple ways to accomplish this.
  • Don’t forget your supplies! If food is involved, you’ll need plates, napkins, and eating utensils.

Whether you’re grabbing a cup of joe, enjoying a brisk walk, or getting an energy boost from your favorite breakroom snack, taking breaks throughout the day is important to help you perform your best and finish out each workday strong.  Fill out our quick form here to get started!

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