If you think that you need to keep your nose to the grindstone, no matter how you feel, to get that task done, you are mistaken. That is our Puritan heritage speaking, not modern science. A growing number of studies that demonstrate breaks enhance overall productivity. This applies to remote workers, telecommuters and freelancers. In a home office you have different options for restorative activities.
If you have been working and find yourself feeling tired your body is telling you take a break. Your brain synapses could be fried. You could be stuck on one point of view. Or, you need to refuel yourself.
In the corporate office how you take a break by going to the “break” room. In the home office you have more options (and temptations) of how you can take a break.
Tips for a restorative home office break:
- Set a time limit for your break – a kitchen timer or computer clock works
- Get away from your desk (checking your emails does not count) – move around, get a change of scene.
- Take a 15-30 minute walk outside – mild exercise, sunlight and fresh air.
- Make a social telephone call (within a realistic timeframe.) Connect with someone you care about, take time to bring some balance into your life.
- Eat a healthy snack. Your brain needs food to function. Proteins or complex carbs are best to avoid a sugar crash an hour later.
- Eat a healthy snack with your kids. Spend time and check in with them.
- Take a power nap – 15-30 minutes
- Play with your pet
- Avoid TV and Facebook, both are a time sink.
If you are feeling guilty about taking a break, but need to rest from the task at hand – work on a side project or semi-mindless task. Do something else that helps you complete a goal or stay organized:
- Clear your desk
- File or declutter papers
- Enter new contacts into your database.
- Take a real break
- Set a time limit
- Know that breaks enhance your overall productivity.
How do you handle things when you have mentally or energetically “hit the wall”? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
If you like this blog, check out The Smarter Home Office: 8 Simple Steps to Improve Your Income, Inspiration and Comfort.