The Art of the Productive Break

Breaks are super important. It’s good to get away from your work and rest and relax – but sometimes it’s nice to be productive while you’re stepping away from the computer!

Since starting to work from home as a freelancer, I’ve noticed that breaks can be really useful for helping me to think over new ideas and get creative. This is especially important for projects that focus primarily on content creation! I don’t need nearly as many breaks when I’m doing a straight-forward editing or proofreading project, but when it comes to creating content, writing articles, and putting together strategies, I have found that stepping away from the computer can be a wonderful opportunity to get new inspiration and ideas. And all while giving me a sense as though I have had a “break” from working! I like it. So with that in mind, here are some ways that you can take breaks and be productive at the same time:

great books

Obviously, books books books are an excellent way to take a break productively ;)

Exercise

This is such a good one for re-energizing your body and your mind. Slower, lighter forms of exercise, like going out for a walk, are excellent for getting the creative juices flowing. More intense forms of exercise, like a gym class, are better for taking your mind off of your project so that you can return to it with fresh eyes.

Cleaning

I love this one. There is always something that needs cleaning in the house! By tidying and cleaning up your space, you are creating a more clean, peaceful, and energizing space for yourself. Not only can you think of your work while you are cleaning (since, let’s face it, cleaning can be a pretty mindless and tedious task), but you will also be able to work with a more clear head once your space is in order.

Meditation

If you can succeed in meditating properly and be at peace in your mind, you will be able to return to your work with a more open mind so that new ideas will flow much more freely. Although meditation makes me feel a little dozy, following it up with lying on my acupressure mat really re-energizes me so that my mind is clear and also eager to get working again (can you tell that I love this combo?).

Reading books

This is a great one for if you are doing creative writing, especially. But really, if you are doing any kind of writing, reading a book that uses the same style that you are writing in can be a fantastic inspiration and motivation to get back to your work. Reading can be a great stimulant for the mind.

Conversation

If you work alone, it’s easy to get lonely or hungry for conversation with another human being without even realizing it! Taking some time away from your desk to have a conversation with someone – on topics including your work or on entirely different subjects – can do wonders for helping you to think of things in new perspectives and in ways that you hadn’t considered before.

Running Errands

I have a confession: I hate running errands. I will procrastinate and put off running errands until I absolutely have to. I don’t know what it is about errands, but they are definitely not my “thing.”

However, when I need to take a break from working but am struggling with a feeling of guilt for not working 24 / 7 (I’m getting much better at not feeling the guilt!), running errands can really help. It generally gets you outside (we can always use some more fresh air), and it also takes one more thing off of your plate. Crossing an errand off of your to-do list can make you feel much better – and that much more ready to get back to work after you have completed your errand.

Do you like to take productive breaks? What do you do on your breaks? How do you re-energize yourself to get working again? Share in the comments section below!

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Day in the Life of a Freelance Editor / Writer: Round Two! « Living Rhetorically in the Real World

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