Take a break...
Making changes can be hard, so let’s start with making some simple changes to nudge ourselves along this December.
Let’s talk abut breaks. Proper breaks, away from our desks, without our phones. Breaks that will give our brains a chance to rest and recharge.
Our productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance will suffer if we don’t take proper breaks, yet we rarely do it and the positive effects of breaks are incredibly underestimated:
Breaks increase productivity. Think about your brain as an old fashioned radio running on a new battery vs. running on a battery about to go flat. The output will be either sharp and to the point, or really slooooooow and bluuuurrrrryyyy….
Breaks boost creativity. Stepping away from what we’re working on, exposing ourselves to “new” environments and letting our minds float provides new perspectives and creates new connections in your brain. We’re in essence helping the brain to avoid taking its default route; the path of least resistance; and instead open up to new unexplored paths.
What can you do? We’ll start dead simple. We like to break the type of break into three:
If you take a minute or two to check in with yourself you’ll often feel very clearly what your brain will need the most. All three will boost your brain’s energy levels, but in different ways.
For leaders it’s therefore important to make sure your office has appropriate places to take quiet breaks and where employees can socialize, that you yourself take breaks, go for walks, head to the gym to recharge and that you show to your employees that you think it’s ok to take breaks, to do nothing, to rest and recharge.
A few small nudges for all of us
Make sure we give ourselves time for time off and set expectations with our colleagues. Make all 1 hour meetings 50mins; and our 30 mins meetings, 25 mins
Make a point of NOT using our phone during our break as your brain will not be resting and recharging.
Mix days and times when you do social, quiet and physical activity breaks. We’ll all find our balance here after some trial and error
So there you go, make sure you give your brain some proper breaks!