4 Ways to Use Microbreaks at Work to Improve Your Productivity
by Claude J. Content Writer
When you first hear the word “microbreak,” it probably sounds like a lazy person’s excuse for not getting work done.
But microbreaks are quite useful for combating the effects of chronic stress and maintaining peak performance throughout an entire workday. Have you ever been so immersed in your work that time flew unnoticed? Then you’ve experienced what scientists call a “flow state,” when your productivity and focus peak.
Microbreaks are smaller versions of these short but effective breaks, designed to keep your mind sharp and prevent burnout. But how can you incorporate microbreaks into your daily routine at work? Read on to learn more about these helpful little breaks and four ways to integrate them into your workflow.
What Are Microbreaks?
Microbreaks are short, structured breaks during your workday that allow you to take a step back and recharge. They are shorter than a typical break (think coffee break) because they are designed to last only a few minutes, not hours. They can be used in any work setting, such as an office, a factory, a store, or even a home office.
Studies have found that even a short break can significantly improve a person’s productivity, creativity, and decision-making abilities. One study found that microbreaks can increase productivity by 50%! Microbreaks can be used in various ways, including a walk, a quick stretch, listening to music, and even taking a few deep breaths.
Go for a Short Walk
Taking a short walk during your workday is a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind. A 10-minute walk can lower your stress levels by 68%! But you don’t have to go for a long stroll to reap the benefits of this microbreak.
A quick walk around the block or up and down the stairs in your office can help you get a fresh perspective on your work. If possible, walk outside in nature for even more stress relief. You may even be able to make this walking part of your scheduled work hours.
This way, you’ll get the benefits of a short walk without disrupting your workflow. If you’re in an office setting, find a nearby path or park and walk there on your lunch break. If you work from home, take a walk around your neighborhood or neighborhood park to get away from your desk.
Stretch Your Legs
Taking a few minutes to stretch your legs is another great microbreak that helps relieve stress and keep your mind fresh during the workday. Dr. Gail Beck, a psychologist with the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, recommends taking a quick break at least every two hours to stand up, walk around, and stretch your legs.
If possible, try to do this break at the half-hour mark, so you can return to your work before your next break. Stretch your arms and legs for about 10 to 15 seconds each or until you feel a gentle sensation of being stretched out. You don’t have to go to a yoga class or have special stretching equipment to reap the benefits of this microbreak.
You most likely have all the tools you need close by, including a chair or a desk to lean over for a leg stretch. You can also stand up and walk around the room.
Listen to Music
Music is a great way to relieve stress and improve your focus during a microbreak. Listening to music can help you fall back into a flow state more quickly, especially if you experience a mental block while working.
To get the most out of your music-listening microbreak, try to find songs with a tempo of about 90 beats per minute (BPM). Evidence suggests that a BPM of 90 is best for improving focus, mood, and productivity.
Find music on your smartphone or computer with a BPM of 90, or buy a music player with a BPM feature. Plus, you don’t have to listen to music with lyrics, or even music you like, to get the benefits. The sound of music playing in the background can help you get back into the flow.
Take a Breather in a Fraction of the Time
Taking several deep breaths during a microbreak is an excellent way to relieve stress and quiet your mind. You can even use this technique when you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list or struggle to develop an idea for a project.
If you aren’t sure how to do it, sit quietly and take one to three long, deep breaths. You can do this while walking, stretching your legs, or listening to music. While taking these breaths, focus on letting go of your worries and any excess thoughts distracting you. You can also try visualizing yourself, releasing stress and anxiety as you exhale.
Created on Nov 17th 2022 04:21. Viewed 138 times.