more rest. more focus // microbreaks in the workplace
Actively distracting yourself from work may not sound like the most productive way to get things done... But according to recent studies, taking microbreaks regularly throughout the day can help keep you more alert and inspire creativity.
We are usually instructed to abolish all distractions in the work place, putting away anything that could divert our attention from the task in hand, and to work solidly throughout the day only breaking for lunch. Whilst this may be the norm for the majority of the work force, it is quickly becoming apparent that it isn't the best way of working.
Constantly looking at a computer screen can make you feel sluggish and uninspired. Likewise, sitting in the same position at a desk, day after day can be both monotonous, and also damaging to your posture.
Taking a break during the day need not be time consuming either. Even a thirty second break can improve your alertness. Business blog Inc points out that 20 minutes of yoga can significantly improve brain functioning, a short nap can boost memory and that a 15 minute pause after every hour of work may be the ideal work pattern.
Even simply looking away from a screen every ten minutes, for just 15 seconds at a time can reduce fatigue by 50%.
Productive distractions work differently for each individual. Some people may like to get stuck into a piece of work for a solid block of hours, then take a nap or an extended break before beginning their next task. Others may prefer more regular pauses, or 'microbreaks'.
The options of how to spend a microbreak are endless:
- Take a look around the office or out of the window to give your eyes a brief respite from the screen.
- Go for a walk to collect your thoughts and get out of your desk chair.
- Make a cup of coffee or collect a glass of water.
- Find your nearest park and have an al fresco lunch.
- Walk across the office to speak to a colleague in person rather than relying on email.
- Or, for the best distraction and ultimate comfort... put your feet up, slip on your mahabis, and enjoy some downtime during the day.
Try taking regular microbreaks throughout the day for an entire week and see the difference it makes for yourself.
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Photos via Unsplash + Evencki