Five rules for getting the most out of your breaks
Every 60 to 90 minutes the body needs a break in order to stay fit. So having regular little chats with colleagues in the kitchen or stretching your legs doesn’t mean you’re lazy but increases your efficiency.
Short breaks are better than long ones
There is usually one long break in the middle of a work day. But having several mini-breaks is actually much more effective for rejuvenating, provided they can be taken voluntarily. So get up more often during work, open the window, do a few simple relaxation exercises, or step outside for a few minutes.
The body needs fuel
Especially the brain needs lots of energy - about 20 percent of the daily requirement. Even people who type all day burn quite a few calories and should regularly eat and drink. Light snacks or meals with complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are a good idea. Tea, water and juice without added sugar are better choices than coffee. Kebabs, burgers and co. are a poor choice. Eat salads, whole grain bread or muesli instead. But, naturally, don’t be too strict with yourself, either. It is far more important that you enjoy your meals. Maybe in a particularly beautiful place, at your favorite restaurant, or with an old friend?
Get away from your work during your break
Leave your desk when taking a break. Answering e-mails while eating is not relaxing. Smokers have it easier; they usually have to go outside for a cigarette break. All others need to actively plan mini-breaks. Even just opening the window and stretching your body helps. Some small talk with colleagues in the kitchen has a positive effect on your well being and the company atmosphere. And the office dog is surely happy when someone plays with him. Our Dante certainly is. But you don’t always have to do nothing. Filing or sorting through old documents can be relaxing too. The most important thing is that you get a short break from your current work.
Relaxation and exercise are good for you
Sitting or standing for long periods of time is not only bad for the back but often the cause of cardiovascular disease. Moving around in the office is very important. Instead of skyping, phoning or emailing colleagues, it’s better to occasionally get up and visit them personally. Simple training exercises for the back relieve the spine. Breathing and relaxation exercise reduce stress and fatigue.
Avoid stress during breaks
Like your work time, breaks should be well planned. Where would you like to spend your break? How far away is your favorite restaurant and how long will it take to get there? Do you have an important appointment after the meal that’s making it hard for you to relax? Your break should be a pleasant counterbalance to your daily office work. Why not meet up with acquaintances who work near you? If you don’t need to be on call, leave your smartphone in the office.
Do you have more tips for getting the most out of your breaks? Then leave a comment.
- career, effectiveness, management, planned time, time management