Working long hours without taking a break will no doubt take its toll on your productivity levels and over time can lead to burnout, but taking regular breaks throughout the day can boost both concentration and creativity. A recent study by the Draugiem Group showed that the most productive employees didn’t work more hours but took shorter, regular breaks with a work to break ratio of 52 minutes to 17. However, not all types of breaks are beneficial. We are all guilty of spending our time off mindlessly scrolling through social media sites instead of letting our brains rest and recharge. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you maximise productivity even when you are taking a break.
Stay off Social Media
Many people feel drawn to sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter when the opportunity for a little downtime arises, but this type of procrastination can be a drain on your productivity levels. Staying off social media sites is easier said than done so if you spend your breaks away from your desk, leave your phone behind or lock it in a drawer to prevent distraction. This will ensure that you don’t waste your break staring at a screen. Another simple way to avoid the lure of social media is to turn off your notifications or keep your phone on do not disturb mode during the working day.
Stretch and Stay Active
So, what is one of the best ways to spend your break? If you spend a large portion of the day sat at your desk, use your break wisely and enjoy some form of physical activity. It doesn’t have to be something as time consuming as a workout class, it can be just a few stretches that don’t require you leaving your office chair, or a quick lap around the office. This will help you to get those endorphins flowing.
Make Meditation a Priority
If you are feeling frazzled, one of the simplest ways to recharge at speed is to indulge in a spot of meditation. As little as a 10-minute meditation sequence can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. This is the perfect way to alleviate stress and you can do it anywhere thanks to easy to use Apps. Pop your headphones in and enjoy a mini meditation session at your desk.
Fuel your Body and Brain
A short break is the ideal opportunity to boost your energy levels. While it may be second nature to grab a coffee or reach for a sugary snack during your break, caffeine and sugar laden substances aren’t the best ways to boost your productivity. Sure, you might get a temporary energy boost when you eat a chocolate bar or sip a latte, but these types of snacks and drinks only mask the symptoms of fatigue and aren’t a match for brain boosting foods like fruit and nuts. Instead of re-fuelling with caffeinated drinks and calorific treats, rehydrate with water and opt for antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries, bananas or pumpkin seeds and watch your productivity level soar.
Are you making the most of your breaks? Could you make them more productive? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.