Photo Credit: YouTube
Some weekends are meant for lots of play mixed with Fall clean-ups…this was one of those. Then Monday comes around. You pull your tired body out of bed, try to stretch those shoulders out and loosen up your knees again. In a matter of minutes, you settle that frame in your desk chair, and expect your brain to be on task with new work-week vigor. Right?
Maybe. Whether it’s Monday or any other day, our workspaces (especially if it’s cubicle life) can, over the course of the day, do a number on our creative thinking and problem-solving. Our minds and bodies cry out for stretch breaks…and not just to hit the restroom and pour the next cup of coffee. A change in location – i.e., to the next meeting – isn’t the recipe for clearing our heads either.
Getting outside…now that’s a grand solution.
My husband works on an incredibly beautiful street in our city. He is in meetings inside, of course, much of the day. When not in meetings, he’s at his desk. Eating his apple and bag of nuts, at lunchtime…right there. At his desk.
While this is going on outside…
Photo Credit: FlickRiver
I don’t take advantage of being outside myself, so no shaming here. Still, the individual worker and the work itself would certainly profit from a breather…a step away from the desk or conference room table…a few minutes on the outside.Photo Credit: University of Washington
“Brain breaks can make a big difference in your ability to be productive, creative, and innovative. The paradox is that doing less often allows you to do more.” – Jeff Stibel
In Courtney Seiter’s article The Science of Taking Breaks at Work: How to Be More Productive by Changing the Way You Think About Downtime, she gives support to the broad benefits of taking breaks. Taking your coffee, outside, for a walk around the block are some of my favorites tips of hers.Photo Credit: Open.Buffer
Walking into an office building and around the folks smoking, I think, “Hey, nice they [have to] go outside…just that alone probably counters some of the impact of smoking on their health.”
Hopefully, you didn’t use up your break reading the blog today…unless you’re reading it while you’re sitting outside in the sun.
I love Philip Terman’s poem Some Days about the replenishing affect of the quietening out-of-doors. Here’s a portion:
Some days you have to turn off the news
and listen to the bird or truck…
You have to close all the books and open
all the windows so that whatever swirls
inside can leave and whatever flutters
against the glass can enter. Some days
you have to unplug the phone and step
out to the porch and…allow the sun to tell you what to do.
– Philip Terman, Our Portion: New and Selected Poems
Photo Credit: Daily Mail
Take that breather…clear your head…and stretch your legs. Either with someone or all alone. It’s worth the trouble…