Giving breaks can sometimes improve your workflow. As the Harvard Business Review eloquently points out, pressing pause allows you to avoid missing the forest for the trees in the work you’re doing, and ensure you’re approaching your workload in the best, most effective way.
It’s often far too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of your day, that you end up hopping around from project to project without a handle on your end objective.
Also we’ve all heard the warnings about how bad it is to stay in one sedentary position all day. Sitting for extended periods of time each and every day can cause some pretty nasty things to happen to your body (think depression, diabetes, obesity, and muscular issues).
So, making sure that you get up and move around every so often isn’t just important for your mind and your motivation—it’s crucial for your overall health as well.
1. Use a Time Management Technique
There are plenty of time management methods out there that incorporate breaks. And, they might be worth a try if you’re serious about changing your habits.
The Pomodoro Technique is a popular one that allows you to work for a 25-minute period, before taking a short five-minute break. It’ll ensure that you step away every now and then, and also boosts your productivity by instilling a sense of urgency in your workday.
Don’t feel like sticking with something so rigid? There are no rules here. You can keep an eye on your own time tracker, and make a point to get up roughly every hour. The secret is to find something that works best for you.
2. Schedule Breaks
You schedule everything else throughout your week. So, why not do the same thing for your breaks? Pick set times each day when you know you need to stand up and get away for just a few minutes. Write them in your planner or on your to-do list if you have to, and then honor them as you would any other appointment or meeting.
Want to make this tactic even more effective? Use a time tracker like Toggl to keep tabs on your productivity each day. This will allow you to easily identify those times when you tend to be less motivated—which is the perfect time for you to schedule your break!
Not only will it give you the pause you need to recharge and refocus, but you’ll also feel less guilty stepping away at a time when you know you’d just be scrolling through Facebook or chewing at your fingernails anyway.
3. Switch Up Your Scenery
This one is surprisingly simple, but can also be incredibly effective for tearing yourself away from that desk that seems to be holding you hostage.
“When you start to feel your motivation slipping, pack up your stuff and head to a different spot!
Today, remote workers have the benefit of being remarkably mobile. So, why not take advantage of that? Grab your laptop and head outside to your patio or to your favorite corner table at a local coffee shop.
Not only will the switch in surroundings leave you with a newfound sense of inspiration, you’ll also force yourself to take a short break—because it’ll take you a little bit of time to actually get to your new spot. It’s a win-win!
The fact that abandoning your desk for a few minutes here and there could actually lead to getting more things accomplished (and accomplished well, at that!) is enough to challenge everything you thought you knew about productivity. But, science doesn’t lie.
So, make your best effort to step away every now and then. Trust us—it’s good for you and your to-do list.