Boost Productivity with a 10 Minute Pause
In a busy work day, it can be hard to believe that taking time out, can actually be beneficial to what you are doing. But there is a growing body of research which indicates that relaxation actually makes you more productive.
Consider this scenario:
Your team has had a particularly difficult meeting with tension all around. You’ve been warned that you need to bring improved results to the work you are doing, or there may be consequences. For you. For your colleagues. For the company.
Person A leaves the meeting wound up and immediately goes back to his desk to work even harder. The tension of the meeting never leaves him. It makes concentration difficult and communication tense. He has to go to the gym at the end of the day, just to blow off steam.
Person B leaves the meeting and takes a ten minute walk outdoors in the fresh air. Her mind clears of the tension, at least somewhat, and having her eyes fall upon things other than her work life, restores her sense of balanced perspective. By the time she returns to the office, she actually remembers the meeting a bit differently – it wasn’t as difficult as she had initially thought. As a result, her imagination is freer to conjure up innovative solutions to the challenges the company is facing. Her short walk shifted her mindset completely, and as a result, she is now working from a different place.
Don’t be the person who leaves the meeting and goes back to the grindstone. Be the person who leaves the meeting to pause and re-connect with themselves.
Take a ten minute pause in your work day, every day. Take a brief walk, five minutes out and five minutes back. Or step to the window and look outside and breathe. Even this:
Close your office door.
Do nothing. Sit down or if you can, lie down and rest.
Check the clock and give yourself ten minutes ( or don’t bother). Imagine that you gather up all your heavy thoughts and responsibilities, put them in a brown paper bag and leave them outside the door.
Be sure to close the door.
Scan your body and make a gentle, mental note of how you are feeling both physically and emotionally. Don’t judge or change anything.
The first time you do this, you may feel wildly restless. That’s okay. Just notice. Remind yourself that the bag with all your responsibilities is beyond your reach. Stay with it and when your time is complete, take note of how you feel. Different than when you started? Probably.
This is a process where the cumulative effects are really evident. The first few days you do it, you may wonder why you are bothering. But soon thereafter, you may find a new sense of calm emerging from within and your whole system looking forward to the quiet.
Take time to pause, to shift or to be still. And your day will unfold differently as a result.
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