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Author: Sarah Last updated: Wed 23 Sep 12:31
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3 breaks to take a day to work better

3 breaks to take a day to work better and be more proactive

While no one can do more time, energy is a different matter. Have you ever wondered why it takes twice as long to write a report at 2: 30 p.m. as it does at 10:30 a.m.? You haven't become less intelligent, it's just that your energy levels change during the working day. One study found that people were more likely to report high energy levels at 8 a.m., probably when that first cup of coffee started. Energy levels then moved steadily downward in the afternoon.



That same study, however, found that a single five-minute exercise session could raise energy levels for more than an hour. More energy translates into better work, which makes breaks incredibly productive, if done right.

The key is to proactively program them. Your tired brain will take a break anyway, but you'll probably choose something non-refreshing like shifting the fatality for an hour before you know what you're doing.

So take the reins and program on these three breaks:

Rest 1: Physical

This could include a walk around the block, walking the dog, running, exercising, jumping rope, doing some exercises with Russian weights, or going up and down the stairs.



Rest 2: Social

This could involve having coffee with a colleague (or Face Timing with a cup of coffee if you are working virtually), having lunch with your partner and children if they are nearby, or calling a friend or family member you want to catch up with.



Rest 3: Spiritual

A spiritual breakup is a little less intuitive, but in this context, I mean anything that affects the human spirit or soul. A lot of heart-warming activities can simply fit into a day's work: praying, meditating, reading spiritual or devotional texts, listening to uplifting music, looking at something beautiful, or doing anything that connects you to something bigger than you.



Choose breaks from each category that appeals to you and then, before each day, look at your schedule and find out when you can plan them.


Breaks can be short. One study tested rest durations of 1, 5 and 9 minutes, and all these rest conditions made people feel better. Yeah, even a one-minute break made a noticeable improvement. 
Consciously chosen ones work much better.
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