How many breaks do you take throughout your workday? We’re not talking about those 5-minute bathroom breaks where you catch up on a few Instagram stories or open up your email to read yours truly (we appreciate you, but please wash your hands on the way out 😉)
No, we’re talking about a little Y-O-U time – free from any screens and without any interaction with whatever work you’re momentarily stepping away from. That’s the sweet stuff, and This Too Shall Grow makes a compelling case as to why you need real breaks and how to properly take them.
Back-to-Back & Back Again
We understand that sometimes Zoom marathons wiggle their way onto your calendar leaving you no time in between meetings. According to research from the Microsoft Human Factors Lab, these breakless meeting sessions create a perfect snowball effect of stress. However, when test subjects took 10-minute meditation breaks between Zoom meetings, their brains had a chance to reset and there was no compounding stress.
So how do we ensure we take proper breaks?
This depends on you, but the better you know your own habits, the better you can devise a plan that works for you. Here are just a few ideas:
- The Pomodoro technique: Determine a length of time after which you will take a short break. For example, you can do 50 minutes of work and take a 10-minute break to get some fresh air and stretch your legs.
- Practice meta-awareness: Mindfulness does wonders. Digging into your current mental state to determine what your mind needs may be your key to knowing when to give yourself a break – no clocks needed.
- Commit and block time: Respect your calendar. Just as you would commit to a team meeting you were added to, commit to a 5-minute recharge you allocate for yourself.
The important thing is to take the time to break away from the task at hand and really leave it all behind you – even just for a few minutes. There’s plenty more to uncover from This Too Shall Grow, so be sure to check it out. (And if you’re still in the bathroom on your break, again, please wash your hands. Thx.)