As working remotely is rapidly becoming the norm across various job sectors, more and more people are converting areas of their bedrooms and homes into quiet office spaces that can serve them efficiently. However, lines blur when your home becomes your office, and it can sometimes be hard to differentiate work time from personal time, especially when it comes to taking breaks. In fact, contrary to popular belief, remote employees work more in comparison to people who telework, according to one study. While productivity may be on the rise, are these remote workers taking necessary little breaks throughout the day or are they plowing through a 9-6 workday with just a short lunch, probably eaten next to their computer? The reality is, if these same workers were in an office setting, they would be taking brief breaks for 10-15 minutes more than just once, whether to talk with a coworker, make coffee, or go out for lunch.
Let’s take a look at some activities that can be added into your day for short moments of disconnection that will have you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the remainder of your workload.
For many companies around the world, full-time remote working is becoming the new normal
Have a short online gaming session
Staring into yet another screen during your time of “disconnection” may seem like an odd suggestion, but a short gaming session either solo or with friends can take your mind off work for a little while by transporting you to another world with a completely different environment. After you finish you may feel more motivated to complete the working day because you’ve had some time to rest your mind. If you’re more a fan of sports than gaming, you can use this time to catch up on the latest news, maybe even analyze stats and rankings of your favorite teams and players so you’re able to place accurate bets on them. Especially if an important game is coming up that night, you can take advantage of a short mid-day break to be ready for later. However, because these breaks should be brief, choosing between free bets may take less time and be less thought consuming.
If you’re normally not one for gaming or checking the news, grab your current read and slump on down to the couch for a bit of reading relaxation time. Set alarms no matter which activity you choose so that you can make sure your time of disconnection doesn’t cut into your work responsibilities. You’ll be surprised at how stepping away from your world into someone else’s either with sports, games, news, or a novel can make you feel refreshed as you switch your mind to a completely different subject and goal.
Step outside for a meditation or yoga practice
As most office spaces exist indoors, it can be vital to breathe some fresh air for a few moments throughout each workday. Being cooped up inside is efficient for working, but the mind needs to be revitalized every so often and what better way to accomplish that then by spending your break doing a short meditation or yoga session outside? Most meditation practices are brief, ranging in time from 5 minutes to 10, but for a short break in between your working hours, it’s the perfect way to clear the mind before returning to your desk. Just a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness can release tension in the shoulders, neck, and back, and let go of any unwanted stressors that you maybe didn’t even realize were there. Stretching in a short yoga practice can also give your body a break from the seated position you occupy for most of the day. Mobile applications offer many helpful guides which can easily be used anytime and anywhere throughout your workday. This could be the most beneficial thing you do for yourself all day, even if it means stepping away from the “office” for a few minutes.
Meditation and mindfulness practiced over a consistent period of time has been linked to reduced stress, improved sleep, a stronger attention span, and overall improved emotional and mental health
Tidy some part of your living space
Working at home is clearly becoming the future, and there are more than a few advantages we can reap from this new way of life, especially when it comes to cleaning. After a long day spent at the office, arriving at a messy home knowing you must clean it before things get out of hand is one of the worst post-work realizations one can have. The benefit of your home being your office and your office being your home is that you can tidy up during your day instead of having to do a massive clean when you arrive home. In your short breaks between meetings and typing away at emails, clean a few dishes or put a load of laundry in the wash. Not only will these small tasks get you walking around, but they will also benefit you later when you realize you’ve checked multiple things off your to-do list. If you’re a plant lover and have a few lining your windows or shelves, use this time to water them or adjust their positioning for sunlight during peak hours of exposure. Even if its fluffing the pillows or sweeping the floor, brief moments that act as breaks but are productive at the same time can make you feel even better about stepping away from work for a moment. After all, science proves that adopting small routines like making your bed daily can have a positive impact on your mood and stress levels.
Have a power nap
Studies also show that a power nap (ranging from 10 to 30 minutes) can increase work performance and even lower blood pressure. If you are feeling quite stressed and have 15 minutes to spare, light a candle and find a relaxing position to fall asleep in. You may be surprised by how rejuvenated you feel if you give your eyes and mind a short rest. Be absolutely sure to set multiple alarms for this activity – it’s only categorized as a power nap if it’s a short one!