Pro Tips: 5 Break Ideas For A Work-Anywhere Lifestyle
Sometimes, the best solution for improving your productivity is a little rest.
Over the last few months, I’ve had the transformative opportunity to become re-acquainted with the joys of regular exercise and in that process, I’ve seen how many of the lessons I’ve learned from maintaining a healthy body also directly apply to maintaining a healthy approach to career and work.
Like working on our bodies, working on our careers can be thought of as a long-form game. There’s a commitment to learning, growing, and really building something that’s strong and lasting. In order to do that, we need to think strategically.
For example, when it comes to working out: you can have admirable, ambitious goals – but if you just mindlessly exercise with abandon all the time, you can seriously burn out and inadvertently undermine the results you want. You can actually start burning muscle off because you’re training improperly.
Same goes for our work. More is not always better. Ever work for a few hours straight and then feel like your brain is being squeezed through a sieve / you can’t think straight / you REALLY need a drink? Ever try working beyond that point? Not only is it really hard, there’s often serious diminishing returns.
And like exercise, sometimes the best thing for us is rest and recovery to help rejuvenate us. Breaks can be a great thing and when I’ve been working hard, breaks often help refuel me to keep working even harder and better afterwards.
Here are 5 great breaks that have been amazing for my on-the-go work-anywhere lifestyle:
Ye Olde Snack Break
Coffee is the default no-brainer, but I really want to advocate for planning a healthy snack for yourself. Food can really fuel our bodies and brains to be performing better. Reach for protein and healthy snacks that won’t give you a sugar crash. Some great options include: nuts, yogurt, fresh fruit, and string cheese. I like investing in mini containers to bring along things like almond butter and even hard-boiled eggs. More brain fuel, less guilt.
In the words of a wise personal trainer: “No matter what mood I walk in with, it’s guaranteed to change by the end of a good workout.” So yes, you can walk around the block and get some fresh air, but I’m a big fan of investing in a gym you like or if you live in a major metropolitan area – getting a membership with Classpass or FitReserve, both of which fit in beautifully with the coworking lifestyle. So many fitness studios can be found on both sites and it’s easy to pop into a nearby studio for a quick workout (and in many cases, shower!) no matter where you’re working. Some places even have amenities like wifi and a work lounge, saunas, water, and free fruit.
Free Your Mind
There has been a ton of research on the benefits of meditation. What had previously been considered a very woo-woo fad is now commonly employed by Silicon Valley heavy-hitters. The good news is that there are many forms of meditation so if one doesn’t suit you, there is bound to be another practice that does. The great news is that there are a bunch of apps that make meditating breaks quick, convenient and easy, including: Headspace, Sattva, and Calm, just to name a few. All you need are headphones. Who wouldn’t benefit from a little more mindfulness?
Phone a friend! Or text. Or email. Sometimes communicating and connecting with others really helps remind us that we are first and foremost: people. We are and should be, at least sometimes, separate from the work that we do. Being reminded that work is not always the be-all, end-all can be quite refreshing. And let’s be real, our friends often make us smile and laugh and that’s a great de-stressor.
Rely on your coworking resources
Sometimes a change of scenery (a brighter / quieter / etc space) can really help rejuvenate you – so search for new coworking spaces that suit your needs! And if you’ve found some trusty work partners, put them to good use with minimally invasive demands like watching your stuff while you meditate or take a good old-fashioned nap (aim for 10-20 minutes for optimal results).
Have more suggestions that aren’t covered here? We’d love to hear your feedback and personal best practices!