Ever feel like you lose momentum as the work day wears on? Been there. I think generally, I'm most productive in the morning hours, but after lunch, I often feel more distracted and just less sharp. Fighting that afternoon slump is tough work! Sometimes, the best solution is to take a quick break. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to refresh and recharge. Get up, lie down, stretch, dance, whatever works for you.
Here are nine simple ways to take a mental break and recharge in the middle of your work day:
1. Go for a walk
It doesn't have to be a long walk, but a few minutes outside will do your mind and body some good. Put in your ear buds or soak in the sights and sounds around you.
2. Read a book / favorite blog
tp:/Take a few minutes during lunch or take a short break in the middle of the afternoon to catch up with your favorite blog (here are a few of my favorites: 1, 2, 3) or read a chapter of your current book (need some suggestions? See my 2015 book list here).
3. Write it out
Ever feel like your mind is a ferris wheel, spinning around with an endless list of things you need to do? No? Well, even if you don't picture your brain as an amusement ride, we've all been there. Take a few minutes to write down everything that's on your mind. It's amazing how free you'll feel once it's all down on paper.
4. Get organized
Take a couple of minutes to clear the clutter - file that stack of papers, put things away, clean up the dishes in the kitchen (for those of us that work at home), file receipts, sort through the mail pile, etc.
Who says you can exercise only in the morning or at night? If you have some control over your schedule (and especially if you work from home), take time in the middle of the afternoon to exercise. Take a longer walk, ride your bicycle around the neighborhood, or go for a quick run. You'll come back to your desk feeling refreshed and energized.
6. Prep for dinner
Again, this only works if you work from home, but sometimes, I like to prep for dinner after lunch rather than jumping right back into my work swing. Taking some time to slice, dice, and chop can be therapeutic and good for the soul.
Eliminate those distractions that are weighing you down. Leave your phone in the other room for a few hours. Work offline for a little while.
8. Get out of your own head
Make a phone call, have a face-to-face conversation with someone, or get out of your work space for a bit. Try your local coffee shop or library.
9. Listen to / play music
Turn on your favorite playlist and just listen for a few minutes. Or, if it's feasible, take out your instrument and play for a little while.
What are your favorite ways to recharge during the work day? Please share!