How Break Time Can Improve Your Performance at Work

a man wearing purple shirt taking a break on chair | Feature | How Break Time Can Improve Your Performance at Work
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Most people know that taking occasional breaks during the workday is important. What they often don’t realize is that all break activities are not created equal, and some in specific can have a hugely positive impact on your productivity.

Let’s take a look at why healthy break time is so important and the ingredients needed to create it.

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Why Is Healthy Break Time Important?

Did you know that, according to HRMorning, 90% of workers who take break time during the day are more productive during their work time?

Unsurprisingly, your brain needs a break. Just like you can’t toil away with your muscles all day without taking a break, your mind needs time to relax or tire out over time.

A good break should rest your brain and reinvigorate it by providing good stimuli and removing bad ones.

Workers who take regular break time also report feeling happier, healthier, and more creative after they get back to it.

Fun fact: experts have found that the ideal time schedule for short breaks is 52 minutes of work, 17 minutes of break time, repeat. This is in addition to a slightly longer lunch break.

What Should I Do During Break Time To Make It Healthier?

Eat Something Healthy

healthy bowl of salad decorated on table | Eat Something Healthy | How Break Time Can Improve Your Performance at Work

What you feed your body directly affects your mood and state of mind for the rest of the day.

During your break, grab some yogurt, granola, salad, or something else with complex nutrients for maximum effect.

It’s good to always keep some foods like this in your office kitchen so you can grab them even during shorter breaks.

Get outside

Getting outside and soaking up some sunlight has countless health benefits and will make you feel more reinvigorated than staying inside ever could.

It’s best to take a walk in a natural setting if possible, but even sitting on a park bench will do a massive amount of good.

Exercise

Get active during your break! Following the previous point, outside exercise is the best. Power-walking through the park or playing badminton with some friends would be ideal.

Even if you can’t get out, keep a yoga mat in your office so you can get in a light workout. Strenuous exercise is actually detrimental to your energy, so stick with light aerobics.

According to Burke Britton, workers who stick to casual exercise during their day are shown to have 72% better time management and workflow.

Nap

A man taking a nap with the laptop and coffee on the desk | Nap | How Break Time Can Improve Your Performance at Work

A 15- or 20-minute nap makes a remarkable difference. If might sound like eating just one Lay’s potato chip (aka impossible), but it will actually make most people feel completely refreshed.

The only hard part is waking up. It can be tempting to hit the snooze button after your short nap is over. Use your willpower to wake up, though, and a midday nap is a game-changer.

Write

Writing down a short story is a fantastic way to get your creative juices flowing. If you have been working on less creative tasks and need to change gear, this may be the perfect solution.

Set your timer for 15 minutes. Then put pen to paper and write about absolutely anything that captures your fancy until the timer’s up. The only rule is that YOU HAVE TO KEEP WRITING.

Read

If you’re not in the mood to create content but still want to stretch your brain a little, start reading. It doesn’t matter what — a novel, a newspaper, or a pamphlet shoved into your hand during your morning commute are all excellent. But try to go with something that talks about a subject you’re unfamiliar with or that challenges your existing beliefs.

Run a Quick Errand

Do something productive. Maybe you need to run to the post office or pick something up at the convenience store around the corner. In any case, doing something productive not related to work will be good for your brain.

As a bonus, you might be able to do something that you could not get done before or after work!

Avoid Screens

If your job is done primarily on a screen, your break time should be screen-free. Spending it staring at a laptop and checking your social media apps is tremendously unhealthy — basically the opposite of what a break should accomplish.

This means all the previous ideas for break time, including reading and writing, should take place away from screens.

Plan Your Afternoon

If you have not done so already, your lunch break is a great time to plan your work schedule for that afternoon. It reduces stress and lets your mind rest.

Again, no screens! Time to break out the pen and paper.

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Grab Lunch with Someone New

Ideally, whatever you do during your break time should challenge your mind by exploring new territory. One of the best ways to do that is by getting to know someone new over a meal.

Getting to know new coworkers is also a great way to build a healthy company culture.

Do Something Different

Don’t develop a routine. Regularly changing up your break time activities, even if it is just a little bit, will make your workday more exciting. It will also keep your break times from getting stale.

Make your work time work for you with these quick tips!

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