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7 Reasons to Take Breaks at Work
My job in Chicago began with three months of probation.
I was petrified to leave my desk.
The company provided us with two 15-minute breaks and a half hour for lunch, but I wasn't having any of it. I researched, wrote and edited at full throttle, without interruption, eager to prove my capacity to produce.
After six weeks, my supervisor said my probation period was done, in half the normal time. I was in!
But my body wasn't happy. I had developed severe eyestrain. I had constant headaches, and the muscles in my neck and upper back were perpetually clenched. My stomach hurt from all the stress.
My heart wasn't happy either, since I had never really spoken to any of my colleagues for any length of time. The whole social dimension of the job was missing.
But I had been too afraid take care of myself until I felt that my job was secure.
Sound familiar? Fear is just one of the factors chain us to our desks. Some of us have absorbed an ethic of overwork. Or, we feel pressure to work efficiently so we can get home to our families.
But experts say taking breaks can improve health and AND make us more effective on the job. Here are seven reasons to get up, stretch and walk during working hours:
1. YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU.
The human body wasn't designed for sitting at a desk for hours on end. Eyes, backs, necks, shoulders and wrists benefit when we get up and move.
2. YOU'LL OPEN THE WAY FOR CREATIVITY.
Very, very few good ideas have ever come to me while I'm at my desk, pushing myself to finish a project. Many ideas have come during walks with my dogs, or while doing light housework. Other people get flashes of inspiration while showering.
Something about physical activity seems to free the mind to create.
3. YOU'LL FIND OUT WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND YOU.
It's amazing what you can learn about your workplace while chatting with colleagues over coffee.
4. YOU'LL WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY.
"Work to Live" author Joe Robinson cites several studies showing that breaks improve productivity. Short intervals for relaxation allow us to sustain high levels of effort more of the time.
5. YOU'LL LIKE YOUR JOB MORE.
If we never pause to take stock, savor accomplishments, and maintain a sense of fun, it's hard to experience job satisfaction. Intense, prolonged time on task can squeeze the joy out work.
"One of the downsides of being eternal action figures is that we never arrive anywhere," Robinson writes.
6. YOU'LL REAP THE BENEFITS OF BUILDING COMMUNITY.
Many of us were raised to think the workplace would reward hard work. Then we were surprised to find that the workplace rewards people who are well liked -- regardless of whether they work the hardest.
When we take breaks for small talk, we give others a chance to know and like us -- and we can get to know and like them, too.
7. YOU'LL FEEL BETTER AT THE END OF THE DAY.
It's a lot easier to enjoy family time when we come home with a reserve of energy and without headaches or pent-up stress.
Sound too radical? It's okay to start small. You might add a five-minute break to your workday for a week or two and see what happens.
You may be surprised at the power of stopping to get you where you want to go.
(c) 2005 Norma Schmidt, Coach, LLC
Norma Schmidt, Coach, LLC, specializes in helping working mothers create balance. She offers workships, teleclasses and individual and group coaching. She also edits the free e-mail newsletter "The Balance Point." Visit http://www.NormaSchmidt.com.
Time Management - Google News
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Avoid 7 Time and Life-Robbing Mistakes and See Your Productivity Soar
41 practical and quick ways to get on top of that mountain of work and free up time for the important things that really matterBy Dr Bill Robb, PhD, DEdWe are all required to do more and more with less and less. This is taking its toll on our productivity, our health and unfortunately on family life.
Top Ten Motivators
Setting goals is the easy part -- but sticking with them over the long run can be a major challenge! Some people think that motivation requires will-power and dedication. Actually, staying motivated is all about setting up an environment that is conducive to you accomplishing your goals.
Simple Strategies for Home Based Business Owners to Reduce Stress and be More Satisfied
Handle small emergencies fast: When a small emergency does pop up being prepared with a home medicine kit will come in handy. Make sure to have one in your car and one in the home and look through them twice a year to make sure they are up to date and have been restocked.
Time Management Lessons from a 3 Year Old
Zak is my three-year old godson. He is the apple of my eye along with his sisters Carley and Brenna.
Are You Really Swamped or Just Disorganized
"Time is what we need the most and what we use the least." Benjamin FranklinI asked a potential client if he had received my e-mail sent out four days ago.
When is the Best Time to Plan Your Day?
When is the best time to plan your day? Well, everyone is different. Let's take a quick look at some of the different possible times:1) Early morning before you go to work.
Living on Purpose: Achieving Balance Between Work And the Rest of Your Life
Many of us get so caught up in day-to-day pressures that we often find ourselves reacting to external demands rather than designing lives that really fulfill us. While in today's economic environment we face many stresses in our jobs, it is still possible to create balance between our work and personal lives.
7 Ways To Improve Your Life In 7 Days
Choose to be HappyHappiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy.
Get More Done at Your Office: Focus on These Eight Areas for Increased Productivity
Your productivity depends on good tools and effective environments, and on using them both well. It can be overwhelming to get your office into shape and still get your work done.
Delegate or Drown
Why waste your precious time working on tasks, which are definitely not your forte when you can delegate or invest your money on a product or service which will free up your time? You can then focus on the more important areas in your work and your life.Debbie's StoryDebbie was the Director of her own computer company, employing four staff.
Time Management: How to Make Your Meetings More Productive
In most organizations, meetings are often the biggest time-wasters. With a bit of planning, it's possible to both shorten the time spent in meetings and to make that time more productive.
Measure Your Time Against Active Inactivity
We don't realize many things we do until we draw our attention to them.Active inactivity doesn't occur only now, it can occur later unless you catch yourself doing it.
Time Management: Which Advice to Follow?
There are so many books on Time Management published every month that it is difficult to find the time to read and digest them all. What happens to most people is that they buy a book on time management, read it, decide that some parts of it may suit them, but then fail to adequately integrate the system into their lives.
Time Management Training - A Necessary Investment or A Waste Of Money?
Many organisations view time management training as something they'll spend their money on, only if they have to. Usually when pruning the company or department budget, training is often the first area that gets the chop.
Procrastination - Understanding & Overcoming it
Whenever I've worked on 'de-cluttering' my living or working space, I've always found that it's the unfinished project - whatever I'm procrastinating about - that takes up the most room.Physically, it's a constant reminder of something I tell myself I SHOULD be doing.
Put Yourself First
Are you too busy to put yourself first? If a plane losesoxygen pressure for any reason, oxygen masks will drop downfrom a small overhead compartment. If the oxygen masks comedown in a plane and you have children, you are alwaysadvised to put yours on first before helping your children.
How Are You Viewing Your Time?
In working with and coaching people across the country, one of the top requests we continually receive is how we can help people manage their time better.Many people think of their time management skills in relationship to their time organization device.
5 Tips To Get More Out Of Your Work Day
It's easy to waste time on things that seem urgent but are not important, and even easier to get slowed down by clutter and distractions. Here are 5 solutions.
Hey, Free Agent, Did You Eat Your Breakfast Today?
And when you finally sat down to eat breakfast, was it morning or ..
Taking Time Off For Your Business
As a business owner, wouldn't it be great if you could take time off whenever you needed to? Unfortunately, most small business owners worry that the business will fall apart if they're not there to mind the store. Too often, they simply lack the appropriate resources for their business to keep going in their absence.
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