5 ways to give yourself a break during the working day.


5 ways to give yourself a break during the working day.

Here in the UK, many of us don’t feel like we can truly switch off from work. With the ability to sync work emails to our mobile phones, being able to work from home (or anywhere), as a society we are pushing further away from the usual 9-5. The ability to completely switch off from work is becoming a lot more difficult and has the potential to affect our health, our productivity and every day lives.

Taking regular breaks throughout your working day is extremely important, and is also reported to boost a worker's productivity. But let's be honest, scrolling through Instagram isn’t a great way of giving yourself a break from work. So I’ve included a few small and simple ways to incorporate regular breaks throughout your day that hopefully you can use. If you have any other tips that you find useful, we'd love to hear them too!

Try to move or stretch every half hour.

Sounds an easy one to start with? Whether you’re glued to a desk all day or if your job involves a lot of standing, stretching is important and is a great way to help relieve tension and re-adjusting your posture. Lean back on your office chair to stretch your arms and back, or every time you use the bathroom have a quick stretch there and let go of any negative energy!

Use your lunch break to re-energise.

With the diversity of our jobs, I know we can’t always utilise our full lunch break, but taking a lunch break is good for us and so when you can, try and avoid eating lunch at your desk. If you’re pressed for time, make a cup of tea and sit in a different environment for five minutes. If you can take a full hour, try going to the gym, a run or just sitting outside. Give yourself a breather to help break up the day and re-boost your energy for the rest of the afternoon.

You can also read all of the reasons why you definitely shouldn't skip your lunch break, here.

Keep a good book by your desk

And by this I don't mean a workbook. When you get a tea break, set yourself a target to finish a chapter or flick through a couple of pages. Delving into a great fictional story or a self-help book is a good way to put your focus onto something completely different. You never know, that book might just give you the inspiration or idea you needed.

Organise your desk

This one is for those who struggle to leave their desk during the day. Organising your desk is a useful way to give your eyes a break from staring at emails, whilst also being super productive. Take five minutes to file your papers, throw out any clutter or wash the porridge bowl you've not touched since 8am! I always feel a great sense of satisfaction when I tidy my desk and it really helps me to refocus back onto a task. Plus, when your manager asks for the printed report from last week's meeting, it won't send you into a spiral of panic!

Take phone calls away from your desk

Whether you have planned a conference call or you're just phoning your mum, try and take any phone calls away from your desk. You could walk around the office, sit in a meeting room or the coffee shop. I often feel much more confident and productive taking phone calls in a separate environment and it helps to discount out any distractions that you might encounter when sat at the desk.