5 "brain break" activities that actually improve productivity

Taking breaks at work isn’t just recommended–it’s actually required in most states! But some breaks can be counterproductive; they can make you feel stressed, pressed for time or even lethargic. How a break makes you feel has to do with what you do when you’re on a break.

If you want to do away with brain fog and the 2pm yawns (we all get them), you’ve come to the right place! Traction® Tools has put together our top 5 list of things to do on break that will leave you feeling reinvigorated, energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

1. Go outside

A change of scenery does wonders—especially if you’re working from home. Sunlight and fresh air help improve relaxation and productivity, so consider using 15 minutes of your lunch break to step outside.

During the colder months, get your outdoor fix by going for a drive. Even if it’s just a trip around the block, the combination of scenery and music can have huge benefits.

2. Eat healthy food

We’re all guilty of skipping lunch every now and then, but eating is incredibly important to staying energized and focused throughout the day. When you can, plan your meals ahead of time, and set a timer so you remember to take a full lunch break. Use the time to really enjoy your food (no scarfing!). Splurging is okay time-to-time, but listen to your body, and try to choose foods that will keep you awake and focused for the rest of the day.

3. Meditate

Find a quiet place (even if it’s just your car) and try to relax. But be careful not to fall asleep! Try to “watch” your thoughts as they occur, and allow yourself to take a break from the grind. Ideally, meditation should help reduce distractions while making you feel calm, secure and serene. One way to do this is to create a comfortable space in your home that’s designated for meditation.

If you’re not sure that meditation is for you, you’re not alone. Meditation isn’t a one-size-fits-all routine. Remember, the most important part is how it makes you feel—there is no right or wrong way to do it!

4. Talk to a friend or coworker

Conversations are a great way to recenter yourself. Try to stay away from work-related topics, and consider using the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend or get to know a new coworker. You’ll probably leave the convo feeling way better than when you started!

If you’re working from home, consider a remote team-building activity instead of face-to-face socializing!

5. Avoid all screens

By now, we all know that screens can wreak havoc on our eyes, but did you know that they can also hurt our ability to relax? When taking a break, try to find ways to avoid your phone or computer. Step away from the online world, and let your brain really take a break.

If you’re not sure where to start, try reading a new book, printing out a coloring worksheet or even staring off into space! We promise your brain will thank you.

Remember: Your breaks are for you!

You know yourself better than anyone. Try to structure your breaks to include things that bring you peace and rejuvenation. Using these methods can help you get there:

  • Going outside (even if it’s just for a drive)
  • Having a healthy snack or meal
  • Trying out meditation
  • Starting a conversation
  • Avoiding your computer