One problem with staying in the office is that even if you take a decent lunch break and chat with colleagues, there’s still that pressure to maintain a good impression.
If you can get outside, even if it’s just a five-minute walk around the block, you can also benefit from a rejuvenating dose of nature.
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We're usually tempted to spend breaks doing things that are convenient but aren’t truly restful (internet shopping, browsing the latest news, etc.)
But brief work breaks are only genuinely rejuvenating when they give you the chance to fully switch off. Any kind of activity that involves willpower or concentration, even if it’s not in a work context, is only going to add to your fatigue levels.
The timing of our breaks makes a difference.
Although it may be tempting to wait until we’re flagging later in the day before allowing ourselves a short break, we actually respond better to breaks in the morning - it seems we need to have some fuel in the tank to benefit from a re-fill.
Laughter increases heart rate, respiration, and gets our blood pumping. Short term effects show some improvements on memory tests.
Spontaneous laughter and forced giggles all have the same perks. Listen to a comedy podcast or read the comics section in the newspaper during a break.
Work in small bursts to help you get rid of distractions and focus more intently.
Just set a timer for 25 minutes, and when it goes off, take a short break for 5 minutes. Stretch your legs, grab a drink, or just sit back and relax. After you’ve done four Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break of 30 minutes or so.