Taking Breaks When Working From Home: What to Do
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It might seem counterintuitive to take breaks when working from home. After all, isn’t the entire ‘working from home’ experience supposed to be a break? Well, there’s a difference between taking a break effectively and taking a break where you binge watch Netflix for the next several hours. There are several proper ways to take a break while working from home, and these breaks can build your energy back up and can have you facing down the day without too much trouble. Plus, you can make your home breaks as great as your effective breaktime at work.
Here are some of the best things that you can do when taking breaks when working from home, and what you can do to make break time fun again. Because that is what a break should be, it should be fun and should allow you to get away from your workload for a while.
Pros and Cons Of Breaks
● Can reset your mind
● Allows you to get away from the computer
● Can be easy to procrastinate and forget about work
Take A Walk
One of the best things that you can do is to go out and take a walk. Stepping outside, especially if you have had a beautiful day to deal with, is something that should always reenergize you. There’s something about getting some sun on your skin and walking around the block or in nature that can always make you smile.
You can listen to music or a podcast while walking, or just focus on the sounds of nature that are all around you and ready to go. Even a brisk 10 minute walk can have your blood pumping and is going to get you moving. You can also take a much longer walk to clear your head and think about an idea or puzzle your way through a problem. Plus, a walk is a pretty easy way to take breaks when working remotely.
Do Something Around The House
Whenever you finish a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is household chores. But what if you could mix the work and the chores together and get both done at the same time. Most chores (tidying a room, doing the dishes, folding laundry, etc) can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes depending on how effective you are at doing them. This is the perfect break time.
Get away from the computer and do these chores. Not only are you doing something with your hands, but you are also getting chores done and preventing yourself from having to do them later on. Who doesn’t like that?
Binge Some Content
Do you have a favorite Podcast, TV show, audiobook, or another form of content you like listening to? Break your day up into chunks and schedule time to consume that content into them. A good 30 minutes of content binging time is enough to get something out of the content, without feeling like it is too short. This method does require some self control, as you could easily keep binging!
If you feel like you can handle it, or if the content is broken up into different sets of 30 minutes each, then go ahead and have some fun on your break. If you are worried, treat it like your boss is hovering over your shoulder, and that can help you manage employee breaks!
Take a Power Nap
The ability of you to do this is going to depend on your specific sleep schedule. If you know that a nap might mess you up, don’t do this. If a nap won’t disturb your overall sleep schedule too much, then you can take a power nap to clear your brain. A power nap should be from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, and any longer than that can mess with your sleep schedule and leave you groggy.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of a power nap, especially during that post lunch slowdown period where you are already feeling tired anyway. A good power nap can kickstart your brain and clear things up, leaving you energized and ready to get things done. Plus, it shouldn’t impact your sleep schedule too badly.
Do Batched Minor Tasks
This doesn’t mean do more work on your break but instead looking at the various batched tasks you have set aside throughout the day. These are smaller tasks, such as ‘answer emails, update social media, text my employee for a status update, etc.’ They’d probably take a few seconds to five minutes to complete.
Batch them together and take some time to complete them all in one fell swoop. Then you have the batched minor tasks done, and you’ve engaged a completely different part of your brain than the part that works on the larger tasks.
You can batch your tasks in the morning and then delegate them to be done at specific breaks, giving you one less thing to worry about. Managers can do this as well, giving them the perfect way to help employees take breaks.
Listen To Something Inspiring
Sometimes you just need that extra push to get through the last hour of your workday. When your break comes around at these moments, you should focus on listening to something that is going to reaffirm your inner power. This can include a motivational speech, an inspiring piece of music, a meditation session, or anything else that makes you smile and has you dig deep for that last little bit of resilience.
Often, the simplest answer is the best. Just get up and stretch, reach as high as you can towards the ceiling and feel your entire body start to unwind. If you don’t have an office ergonomic chair or standing desk to fix your posture, then this is one of the best ways to get things back on track for you.
You can incorporate a few stretching exercises or even some light yoga into your routine, and you can be well stretched out in no time!
Don’t Be Afraid To Take Breaks
Figuring out how to take breaks for remote work while at home can be hard to do, since we are all aware of the various problems and distractions that working from home can provide. However, that is no excuse to stop taking breaks, and you need to focus on your own mental health and wellness. No matter how you take breaks, make sure to have some fun with them. Don’t underestimate the importance of taking breaks at work.
Stepping away from work can help you more easily solve whatever problem you are facing, and you won’t need to worry about getting burned out on a specific assignment or problem. The break might even give you the insight you need to get the problem solved without any additional struggling on your part.
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