Guest Post by Adam Timm, Speaker at 2015 Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence.
Regular breaks are a great way to stay positive and uplifted throughout the day… you’re not working through your breaks, are you?
Does this sound like you?
– You normally work through your break periods.
– You eat your meals at your desk or miss lunch entirely.
– You head into work early and you leave too late.
– You bring work home at night and sometimes over the weekends.
Now, we’re not going to harp into you all the reasons why you must take a break, instead we’re going to give you 5 steps to take a much needed break.
Sometimes, you just need a little nudge, a little encouragement, a little permission to go take a break. So here’s 5 EASY Steps:
1. Let Off Some Steam
As soon as it’s lunch time make a clear distinction that work is, for now, done, and it’s time for a real break. To do this, at your desk, take 3 deep cleansing breaths.
2. Step Away From Your Desk
Once you’ve exhaled your last cleansing breath, stand up, stretch, and walk away. If it’s lunch time and you brought your lunch, take it somewhere else. Don’t eat at your desk. Decide where to go — whether to the break room, or ideally, outdoors.
3. Take A Real Break
Once you’re settled in a spot to eat your lunch, really eat your lunch. Put away the phone or tablet. Smell your food. Taste eat bite, notice the texture of each mouthful. Chew slowly. Take your time. Enjoy!
Use this time to connect with a colleague. Have a lovely conversation over lunch. Chat about fun things — what movie you want to watch, what book you’re reading, heck, even chat about the weather. Talking about work is not allowed!
5. Take A Walk
If there’s time left, take a stroll outside. Even 5 minutes will do your body good if you really inhale each breath and take in the outdoors — notice the sky, the buildings, the grass, the birds in the trees.
Once your break time is over, happily return to your desk refueled and refreshed to finish the rest of your day!
Repeat as necessary throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to step away, your work will be right where you left it.
Stress Release Tip
Have you been rushing through meals? Eating at your desk? Skipping lunches? Or just skimmed by with vending machine snacks? Today, make a commitment to take a real lunch break. Let others know that you will be away from your desk but that you’ll be back. Then when lunch time hits, take the above 5 Steps. Make it a point to slow down today, and see how your tension eases.
If you’re absolutely pressed for time today and can’t seem to break away for a real break, that’s a sign you need one. You may feel pressure to meet a deadline, but what’s the point of meeting a deadline if it was rushed and there are mistakes? So take a step back, know that when you take a true break, you will be able return with fresh eyes, renewed energy, and more gusto to get the rest of the work done!
“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
– Sydney J. Harris