The corona pandemic is currently driving many people out of the office into their own four walls. What initially promises more freedom and flexibility can quickly become a problem. Taking regular breaks, for example, was still very easy in the office. At home, however, we let ourselves be carried away by the comfort – with the laptop on the sofa, snacks are served all day long. There is a feeling of permanent pause, but at the same time there is also permanent tension. The boundaries between leisure and work are blurring.
Some studies even show that we now start the working day in the home office earlier and finish it later – sometimes without taking a break in between. Breaks are extremely important for our brain. Because it has been proven that certain areas of the brain are simply shut down if too many so-called stressors act on us. We are then on the autopilot because our brain thinks we are in danger. A vital and ingenious function of our brain. However, we also know that in permanent autopilot mode we are not that good at being creative or making decisions.
Here are four tips for taking a break to stay productive and happy:
# 1 Permanent workplace
As tempting as it may be to make yourself comfortable on the sofa with your laptop from time to time – a permanent workplace at home creates a lot of structure and also makes it easier to take breaks, because you have to leave your place for that. This is important, because work and free time are deliberately separated spatially.
# 2 Social control in the best sense of the word
In the office with colleagues, it is hardly possible to skip breaks. The question of having lunch together or having coffee in the afternoon arises every day. So in the community we are constantly reminded to take breaks. This “social control” is no longer applicable in the home office alone. So how about a virtual coffee break with your colleagues? Talk to each other and let yourself be consciously reminded of the daily breaks.
# 3 anchor
Not only a longer break of at least 30 minutes during working hours is important, so-called micro-breaks can also quickly ensure a short relaxation in the brain. It can be useful to distribute small notes with short keywords around the workplace. Whenever you pass one of the notes with your eyes, you have to stand up briefly and open the window, for example.
# 4 routine
Everyone knows that the more we do something regularly, the faster our brain gets used to it. So if we have a permanent job, take a lunch break away from the laptop at 1 p.m. and arrange to meet up with our favorite colleague for a virtual coffee in the afternoon, should we continue this rhythm for a while. Soon these things will hardly cost any more discipline, but will be normal.
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