4 Strategies to Give Your Brain a Break
Employees generally have an innate desire to perform at their highest level while at work. It is typically because they are aiming for a promotion, feel the need to please their supervisors, fear of losing their jobs, or simply want to do their best because it makes them feel good about themselves. Most people will agree to take on additional projects, work overtime, and barely step away from their desks during the workday. However, this state of mind is not nearly as effective as you may think. In fact, it can completely backfire. Far too many workers are under the false impression that grinding themselves to dust will actually help their careers. In reality, it is doing the exact opposite. What makes matters worse is that a plethora of employers are promoting this mindset. Employee productivity, performance, and mental well being begin to suffer when us humans fail to take enough breaks from work. When employees are overworked they often end up with chronic stress that can easily lead to job related burnout. This not only has an effect on their health, it can also negatively affects the company’s bottom line. The following information will provide you with easy to implement methods to give your brain some much needed downtime.
Methods for Resting Your Brain
Utilize The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique uses a timer to break work into multiple intervals that are traditionally twenty-five minutes in length. The work intervals are separated by short breaks. There are six steps to the process as listed below. Step 1- Decide on a specific task. Step 2- Set the timer to 25 minutes. Step 3- Work on the task. Step 4- Stop Working On The Task When The Timer Rings And Put A Checkmark On A Piece Of Paper. Step 5- If you have less than four checkmarks take a short 3 to 5 minute break, then go to Step 2. Step 6- If you have four checkmarks take a longer 15 minute break, then go to Step 2. Step 7- After completing the task, take a 15 minute break, reset the checkmark count to zero, and go to Step 1. The main goal of the Pomodoro Technique is to significantly reduce the negative impact of internal and external interruptions and instead focus on flow.
Allow Your Mind To Wander
People that daydream at work tend to be more creative. They also tend to be more productive. It is important to allow your mind to wander. Try taking a “dream walk” for 20 minutes each day, and simply get lost in your thoughts. If possible take your “dream walk” outside. The fresh air has additional benefits, and a change of scenery will help as well. If you cannot walk outside, due to the weather or other circumstances, find a place to walk inside where you will be uninterrupted. In addition to allowing your mind to wander, the daily walk is good for your physical well-being as well.
Did you know that meditation decreases excessive brain activity? It also increases the alpha brain waves that are linked to relaxation and creativity. Meditating on a daily basis relieves anxiety, reduces feelings of fear, and eliminates stress, which in turn provides you with the ability to think with a clear and open mind. Some other benefits are an increase in empathy and the promotion of more positive interactions with people in general. Take a few minutes during the workday to meditate.
Take A Short Nap
Most people are unaware that a short 7-10 minute nap can increase alertness for a period of up to three hours. There is no need to drink an unhealthy energy drink or gulp down additional cups of coffee when a quick nap will accomplish the same exact thing. Try to find a nice quiet place within your office if possible. For those of you that are worried that taking a daily nap will negatively impact your sleep cycle, fear not. Naps under 20 minutes in duration have absolutely zero impact on your nightly sleep. In conclusion, your brain does not work properly when it is overloaded. If you happen to feel tired all day and your work is suffering because of it, try taking more time for yourself in the form of better planning and daily breaks. You will find that you will accomplish more, and stress yourself out a lot less.