Earthly Paradise by skyseeker
Having worked for over 15 years as a peon in the corporate world, I know how important break time can be. Whether you use it break up the monotony of your day, or for a much needed rest from the hectic pace of work, break time can be a time to restore your sanity and rejuvenate your spirit. Missing out on these brief respites of YOU time can severely slow your productivity, lower your creativity and keep you from performing and feeling your best.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that working harder means working better. Over the years I have made the mistake over and over of not taking my breaks. You become immersed in a major project with a deadline looming and the pressure makes you believe that stopping for 10-15 minutes will somehow make you lose your focus or idea. What a load of hogwash!
Break time is the time to get your mind off your work. This is when you reconnect with your spirit, energy and refuel. Haven’t we all said that we get our best ideas in the shower, while exercising or at night just before bed? For most of us, our minds work best when we give them time to rest and reflect on our work. By changing your focus for just a few minutes, connections, creative sparks and solutions that were just out of reach come flooding in.
Here are a few tips to make the make of your break time. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that appeal to you. What may feel great to someone sitting at a desk all day may be horrible for someone on their feet for 8 hours:
- Talk about anything but work. Talk to friends and coworkers all you like – just don’t talk about work. Talk about your favorite TV show, the sunny weather or your children, but don’t give any attention to your current work. Your mind needs to unwind.
- Step outside for some fresh air. Sunlight, a cool breeze and taking a short walk can do wonders for your mind and body. I’ve gotten many great ideas from making this one change to my daily routine.
- Find something funny. Share a joke with a coworker, read the daily comics in the newspaper or listen to some fun music. Keep a list of funny quotes and pick the one that best describes your day so far.
- Close your eyes and take 10 deep breathes. Try to schedule your break so that you can be alone for a few minutes. Then close your eyes, smile, and take several deep, filling breathes. This simple strategy will fill you with energy, calm your racing thoughts and bring you a few needed moments of peace.
- Stretch the stiffness out. Stretch the kinks from your neck and back. Gently roll your neck to the right feeling that slight pull on your tight neck muscles, then let it loll to the front for a count of five, shift to your left for a moment, and finally tilt it backwards. Do the same for your back, bending as far as is comfortable. Repeat two or three times if necessary. Enjoy yourself as the feeling of flexibility returns.
- Eat a healthy snack. Munch an apple, drink some water or have a handful of nuts. These nutritious snacks will keep you going for the next few hours by giving you a good boost of energy.
- Play your Nintendo Gameboy or PSP. This idea is for older folks too. There are games and puzzles for almost any taste. The machines fit easily in your desk drawer and provide hours of entertainment. I recommend a quick game of Sudoku or Shrek SuperSlam. You can also watch videos on your PSP. Just imagine watching SouthPark or The Simpsons for a quick laugh.
- Listen to a guided meditation. Buy a CD with several 10-minute short meditations on it and listen to one each day. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can relax in the midst of chaos. Playing it on headphones means you can listen anywhere – even in a slightly noisy breakroom.
- Play time. Keep a super bouncy ball, a paddle ball (with the ball on the string), bubbles or a pack of cards in a special drawer. When things get rough revert to childhood and play a little. If you can find a play buddy it’s even better.
- Rock out to some great music. Whatever gets your feet tapping and head bobbing. Music is a great mood changer and just a few minutes with a favorite song can lift your mood and put a smile on your face.
Break time give you two chances each day to relax, unwind and add a little fun to your day. Use yours to the best of your ability. Please feel free to add your own tips and ideas in the comment section. Have a wonderful day!