The Importance of Breaks: 4 Tips to Take a Mental & Physical Breather

breaks image of coffee mug

Imagine this: you’re at work, busily clicking on the keyboard, answering one email after another. By the time you look up it’s already past time for lunch. We are all guilty of forgetting to take breaks during our busy work days, or just pushing through to get more tasks checked off the list.  But, making taking a break important during the day will help in the long run.

Well get this… Did you know that taking 30 second breaks can increase your productivity up to 13 percent? That’s why we put together these four quick and simple tips to get you out of your seat and taking a breather.

Tip #1: Time your breaks

More than likely, you use an alarm to get up in the morning (unless you have live alarm clocks – like dogs and kiddos). Why not use that alarm to schedule casual reminders to take a break throughout the day too?

Set a timer to go off on your phone or watch every 80 minutes. Then, drop everything and unwind for at least five to ten minutes. Whether it is chatting it up with a few coworkers, going on a walk around the floor, or grabbing a cup of coffee or snack from the breakroom, these are all great break time options.

Tip #2: Look away

We are not the only ones that work hard during the day. Our eyes are some hardworking associates too. Staring at a computer screen definitely does a number on our eyes if we do not give them a break during the day.

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So, look away to reduce eye tension! Try taking a 15 second break from staring at the computer screen every ten minutes, it can reduce your fatigue by about 50%. It can be as simple as picking 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 a break and “leaf” the office

break image 3 girl walking

Enjoy the outside? Put on those sneakers and take a lap or two around your building. It’s not only beneficial for your physical health, it’s also a great mental release too. In fact, the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

So, take a break, put on some earbuds, play your favorite playlist and head outdoors.

Tip #4: Start a workplace social committee

If you really want to get involved and encourage breaks for your whole team, creating a social committee is a great solution! Gather two or three co-workers and come up with an events calendar for the next month. Plan floor-wide celebrations around food holidays and other national events like the Olympics to bring people together, and of course help them take a break from their busy work day.

Here are some key things to think about:

  • Make sure leadership is on board. If your company doesn’t already host social events occasionally, this will be a culture shift. Your teammates have to feel like it’s okay to leave their desk to attend.
  • Put your advertising hat on, and get the word out. Email and calendar reminders are super simple ways to accomplish that.
  • Don’t forget the supplies! Especially for food events. You’ll need to have plenty of plates, napkins, and utensils on hand to prepare. (PS… we can help with that.)

Moral of the story… Whether it is grabbing a cup of Joe or getting a brisk walk in, taking breaks throughout the day is important so you can be your best from start to finish.

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