If you want to be successful in your career, you have to take your job seriously. While other people try to get by with minimal effort, you need to do the dirty work required to make your way to the top. It should be no surprise to you that hard work is a requirement.
What may be surprising, however, is that too much work can often be counterproductive. In fact, it’s a good idea to take a break at some point during the day to keep your mind sharp.
Burning out really does happen, and if you give yourself some time to step away from your work, you’ll be able to come back with a better perspective.
How Breaks Help
The biggest thing a break can do for you is keep you fresh. When you work too much, your mind becomes dull. It’s easier to make mistakes, and you’ll probably end up slowing down.
Working for too many hours in a row will drain your energy. If you’re feeling tired, you’re not going to be able to give your best effort. Believe it or not, it’s often a better idea to give a few hours of solid work than several hours of mediocre production. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate breaks into your workday to increase productivity.
Go For a Walk
Going for a walk is a great way to clear you head. It gets the heart pumping which sends extra blood to your brain. This will ensure you stay sharp throughout the day, helping you to eliminate mental errors and think of more innovative solutions.
If you can, try to walk at a park. Studies have shown that seeing green from nature allows people to de-stress. If you come back to your work with a more relaxed attitude, you will find yourself working better with others, and thinking of ideas that wouldn’t have come to you, if you were stressed out.
If you can find a quiet space to sit, meditation is a great option. It doesn’t require a tremendous investment of time either. Just a few minutes to sit alone with your breath or a mantra can do wonders.
This practice will allow you to clear your thoughts, and it will even train you to concentrate better. You’ll learn to focus on a single task, while excluding other distractions. Needless to say, that is a very valuable skill in the workplace.
Some people even find that they are able to tap into their subconscious with a greater ease after meditation. This can help you to think of interesting and creative ways to solve problems, which is sure to impress your boss.
Play a Game
This is especially great if you can get your co-workers on board. It is great for building team morale. Everyone gets a chance to interact without the stress of work. You’ll learn about each other’s strengths and weakness, while bonding.
It also helps to break the ice between people. Maybe you’ll meet someone from a department that you don’t normally interact with. This can open up entirely new avenues for problem-solving discussion. You may not realize how much someone can help you accomplish your goals until you have the opportunity to speak with them one-on-one.
Want suggestions of quite, simple games to play at the office? Try cornhole (get your supplies here), ladder golf, or washers. These games are usually played outside but can be just as fun in the conference room. If you don’t have a place to store bulky things like cornhole boards, see if your boss would allow you some cupboard space for Jenga, a pack of cards (spoons, anyone?!) or some board games. If all else fails, play a game of Simon Says.
Enjoy Your Lunch
Make sure you take the time to enjoy your lunch every day. Too many people spend their lunch break hunched over their desk while eating a sandwich. The chance to step away for 30 minutes to an hour will be much more helpful to your work efforts than spending that time multitasking.
Always Take the Stairs
Taking the stairs may mean it takes you a bit longer to make it to your office, but the benefits are well-worth the lost time. The added exercise is good for both your body and your brain.
Don’t Let Work Hurt Your Productivity
A strong desire to be productive is very commendable. Unfortunately, too many people associate productivity with spending countless hours working. This will only lead to a drop-off in your efficiency. It’s important that you take breaks, so that your mind can remain focused on the tasks at hand.
As difficult as it is for some to grasp, stepping away from a problem is often the best way to find a solution.
Sometimes, it seems guest author Juli Richardson lives in her cubical. Over the years, she has learned the best ways to maximize her mental output. Now, Juli shares her tips and suggestions with others.