According to recent research by the Energy Project and Harvard Business Review, they’re easier to access than you might think. Just step away from the work.
The study showed that employees who break every 90 minutes to pulse between work and renewal report:
- 28% better focus
- 30% greater health and well-being, and a
- 40% increase in creative thinking
This is just one more in a long series of research findings that confirm this fact: time out delivers a significant return on investment!
Action: Adopting this practice and reaping the rewards takes shifting from intention to action.
It’s easy to get caught up in the flow and frenzy of the work, and overlook the breaks. Use a timer reminder on your calendar. Set it to ring at 90 minute intervals. Add software to your computer that will interrupt you on a schedule of your choice to invite you to stretch and move.
Then choose a renewing pause – one that honors what you need at the time:
- If you’re sitting, movement and stretching are good.
- If you’re stuck indoors, a little fresh air will help.
- If you’re holed up working solo, a bit of social interaction may help.
- If you’re wrangling with serious issues, humor can lighten the mood.
- If you’re surrounded by people, solo time can reset your equilibrium.
Build in the breaks. Choose a contrasting experience. And, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the powerful impact of powering down.
Resources: For more on the power of renewal, including a set of short videos, see these Key Ideas from The Energy Project.
For a handy overview of software options that encourage breaks and helps reduce Repetitive Strain Injury see this listing in Wikipedia.
Quotes Of The Week: Rest leads to renewal of spirit, soul and strength. – Lailah Gifty Akita
Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective. – Doe Zantamata
Top athletes understand that to play at their best, they must alternate periods of intense performance with periods of strategic renewal. – Robin S. Sharma
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s message, Are you Standing Up & Stepping Out, Pause reader LE writes: I have been playing a variety of ideas around in my mind, and envisioning ways to move forward. Guess I’d like to have my cake and eat it, too. Your article this week was perfectly timed. Indeed, why not find a low risk way to stand up, step out, and test the waters? Now, if I could only settle on which idea to test first.