5 Brain Break Activities to Boost Your Productivity
The importance of taking brain breaks stretches far and wide.
From allowing you to rest your weary eyes and stretch your stiff muscles to restoring your energy and sharpening your focus, it’s clear that taking a break is the key to supercharging productivity.
But perhaps you struggle to take it easy. Not because you aren’t aware that you should, but because you don’t know how.
According to Lifehack.org,
“The reason why so many people push themselves to the limit of exhaustion is simple—they just can not think of any interesting activities they can do, during their break time. So they end up working for 4-5 hours straight until their body offers them a painful reminder.”
If this is something you can #relate to, then we invite you to read along and discover some ideas to help motivate you and get you started on this beneficial habit.
What we love about this particular selection of practices is that it that they don’t just leave you feeling refreshed and restful, but they also reinvigorate and reenergize you so you can tackle the rest of the day in stride.
Are you ready?
Meditation is a fantastic way to clear your head in between long periods of intense work.
And meditation will do more than just help you focus on your tasks—it can also reduce anxiety, lower stress levels, and fight fatigue and insomnia.
For your next work break, take a moment to sit quietly, close your eyes, and simply focus on your breathing. For more You can also use a guided meditation video like this 10-minute mindfulness meditation exercise or a meditation app like Headspace.
No, we’re not talking about walking over to the couch to watch an episode of Breaking Bad or F.R.I.E.N.D.S…
What we mean is walking out of the house to get some sun and fresh air. Going for a walk has been proven to boost creative thoughts and self-esteem—even if it’s just one trip around the block.
If you’re taking a longer break, try walking somewhere surrounded by nature, like the beach or a local park. Studies show that you can perform better on tasks that depend on directed-attention abilities (eg. coding, spreadsheet management, etc.) after interacting with natural environments.
3. Grab a Snack
As the saying goes…“you’re not you when you’re hungry.”
Snacking not only staves off hunger pangs during your 9-5, but it also sends positive messages to your brain, therefore improving your mood.
We vouch for apples with almond butter, salsa with fresh veggies, and pretty much everything else on this list. Do your best to stay away from highly sugary snacks to avoid midday crashes!
4. Listen to Music
Music breaks are wildly underrated breaks but there is plenty of research to back up their brain-boosting benefits.
One study, in particular, found that participants who listened to music in between tasks were able to concentrate for longer stretches of time compared to those who didn’t.
You can take this up a notch by dancing along too. You’ll get your blood flowing and give your tense muscles a breather after sitting around the whole day.
Yep, you read that right. Daydreaming while working is a huge no-no, but it’s totally acceptable (and even beneficial) during break time.
As reported by the NeuroLeadership Institute,
"Neuroscience and psychology research show that mind-wandering facilitates creativity, planning, and putting off immediate desires in favor of future rewards. Each of those can be important for working effectively.”
So the next time a window for rest opens up, set your mind adrift and enjoy the ride.
How often should you take brain breaks?
The trick is finding the right schedule for your work style. We suggest experimenting with taking a brain break every 30-90 minutes until you learn what’s best for you.
And now that you have an arsenal of ideas on what to do, we’re pretty confident that you can take more breaks right away and experience its numerous benefits as you grind and make your dreams come true.
Like, share, or comment below if you’d like a part 2!
But in the meantime, check out our blog to uncover more top tips on productivity and work management!