Raise your hand if you think working means sitting at a desk for hours on end, plugging away at your to-do list and not moving until you've gotten it all done.
A lot of us have been conditioned to think this is an inevitable truth.
Thankfully, it's the farthest thing from it. While there is no real consensus as to how long to go before taking a break, or what the optimal break time is for everyone, there is one thing that everyone agrees on: taking breaks is necessary in order to maintain peak productivity.
Luckily, we entrepreneurs get to decide what works best for us. We can start working when we want, take breaks throughout the day that meet our needs, and structure our work day to make the most of our time working.
Below are 5 ways to make the most of your breaks and give your brain the rest it needs before diving back into your to-do list.
I like to break my day up into 3 or 4 chunks of focused work time of about 90 minutes. When I’m in need of a break, here are three things I often seek out:
Going for a walk around the block. So worth the effort and after as little as 10 minutes I always feel refreshed. I’ve recently discovered my step tracking app on my iPhone and aim to get 10,000 steps a day. I often fall short, but it definitely helps keep me moving.
Taking a 20 minute nap. I’m a big fan of the cat nap. I set a timer across the room so I have to get out of bed and so I usually do not have a problem sticking to 20 minutes. I also love my sleep mask for napping as darkness makes all the difference.
Watching a little Carpool Karaoke. James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke clips on Youtube are so much fun. They always bring a smile to my face. Highly recommend if you need a pick-me-up.
As a working-from-home mom to an active toddler, my days are structured a bit differently. When The Babe was younger, I was forced to work in 45-minute increments (and boy was I productive). Now that she's older and her sleep schedule has evened out a bit more, I find myself feeling like I need to squeeze every ounce of productivity into the time I have.
These two things have helped to keep me on track and stay focused when it counts:
Meditation. Whenever I need a quick refresh, I step away from the computer and get my meditation on. Even 5 minutes of focusing on my breath can help me come back to center and feel refreshed.
Taking a snack break! Whenever I start to lose steam and have trouble staying focused on the task at hand, I grab myself a little snack and a glass of water. It's amazing how much better I function when I've had the chance to refuel. My favorite snack? A dried fig or two, some Happy Trekking Trail Mix from Trader Joe's, or a handful of baby carrots.
What about you?
What are some of your tried and true activities that help you recharge and get refocused?