Breaks are the New Busy

Mar 08, 2020
 

This may be a bit controversial, but I think that stress isn’t always a bad thing. What?

Sometimes a little bit of stress while working can be incredibly helpful because it can motivate you to get things done on time and keep you productive, focused and determined.

That’s the good news, the bad news is that when stress builds up too much it can become overwhelming. Fast. The more overwhelmed you feel, the more problems can arise. Now that sounds more familiar, right?

So, how can we maintain a healthy level of stress without it spiralling out of control?

One of the best solutions is to take frequent breaks over the course of the day.

But there’s a problem: Most people associate taking breaks with laziness and feelings of guilt. In fact, guilt is often what motivates us to work straight through tiredness and fatigue and when we’re busier, we feel more productive and less guilty. But at the end of the day, productivity isn’t about how much we do, it’s about how much we accomplish. The facts are that breaks help you work smarter and accomplish more.

Why is it important to take breaks?

When you frequently step back from your work, you may feel less productive because you’re not working during that time. But breaks allow you to accomplish more by letting you replenish your energy reserves, recharge your focus, step back from your work to make creative connections, and re-evaluate your goals or how you approach your work in the first place.

Listen, your brain needs a time-out from work. Taking a break, even a 15 minute one, could help you stay recharged for the rest of the day. In fact, by committing a mere 15 minutes of your lunch break to relaxation exercises, you can build the mental strength you need to power through the afternoon with relative ease.  Here’s the best part, you'll finish work feeling less stressed and more energised so you can enjoy your evenings.

My 4 favourite kinds of breaks:

We have established that when you work hard, it’s important to take a few breaks throughout the day. But let’s be honest: Is 10 minutes of scrolling through Facebook really a break? No, in case you weren’t sure. The best kinds of breaks involve relaxing your mind and body.

There are many relaxation exercises that you can do in your work environment. My favourites are:

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation - Tense and relax your muscles, one muscle group at a time. Take some deep breaths and notice how your muscles feel when they're relaxed. This will help you become better at recognising when you're tensing up so you can stay more relaxed throughout the day.
  2. Deep breathing - There are many breathing exercises, but belly breaths are one of the easiest. Put a hand on your stomach and breathe in through your nose. Let your belly push your hand out. Your chest shouldn't move. Then, exhale slowly through pursed lips.
  3. Mindfulness - Focus on a natural object within your immediate environment like a cloud, a rock, or the wood grain in your desk. Focus on it for a minute or two and visually explore it as if you are seeing it for the first time. Pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind and when your mind wanders, refocus your attention. Be an observer and try to stay focused without passing judgment.
  4. Guided Meditation - There are many audio recordings and apps that can help you learn relaxation practices. My personal favourite is Insight Timer (https://insighttimer.com) which has thousands of guided and self-paced meditations that you can try, and it’s totally free to use! Keep in mind that relaxation techniques take practice, just like any other skill. So if you feel clumsy at first or you think they aren't working, don't give up. It gets easier with time. Here is a 5-minute meditation you can do at any time that I love. Give it a go, and let me know what you think! https://insig.ht/yAJGSdFLA4

 

Remember, you don’t have to use any of these practices to take a break. You can go for a short uninterrupted walk, sit in a quiet place, or simply focus on a candle flame. You can even take a quick 15-minute nap to completely turn your brain off. (My favourite app for help with this one is Pzizz: https://pzizz.com/) The point is to still your mind, release the tension from the day, and focus on the present moment so that you can get back to work and focus, better manage your thoughts and make clear decisions.

Once you’re rested and ready to get back to work, I have some great tools for you to turboboost your productivity to the next level. To find out more, check out my vlog on 5 Steps to Fast Track Your Productivity and Get You More Time!  

And be sure to get my fantastic FREE guide 

6 steps to Turboboost your Productivity

The “Must Have” Guide to Get You Laser Focused and Save You TIME

Learn how to get clear on the 20% of activities that generate 80% of your results! Your ability to identify and focus on the top 20% of tasks will determine your quality of life, business success and the results you’ll be getting. It will help you reclaim your focus, become more productive and be less stressed and overwhelmed. 

 

Committed to your success,

 

Marina x

 

Want to know more about getting your POWER back? 

I want you to know that Transformation is possible. Progress is possible. I’ve implemented these steps in my own life and coached my clients through the process

 

Maybe now really is your time to make a change? Maybe this is that moment for you. If so, then I would like to invite you to book a FREE Kickstart Your Power Session, where we get on a call for 60 minutes and identify what obstacles are stopping you from reaching your goals and work out a plan for overcoming them.

 

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