Taking a break is the key to keeping a clear mind

Taking a break is the key to keeping a clear mind

So last time I promised to give you some ideas of how to prevent burnout and make sure your teams perform without crashing and burning. This is just the beginning of a journey that is going to have us explore many avenues of this new world of better quality working.

We live in a world where we are over-stimulated all the time, over-adapting. The workplace is often where it happens in its heightened form: phones ringing, colleagues interrupting, to-do lists bursting at the seams, instant messaging taking over from the file we are trying to read or write, last-minute emergencies disrupting a carefully-balanced agenda. Too much requires our attention at the same time, there is too much pressure, too much of everything. Overwhelm is just round the corner.

A fresh mind

Here is the secret to how to keep a fresh mind even when work and life in general are too full of everything: take a break, make a pause, have time off, take some silent time. Call it anything you want but do it.  There are many ways to do this so let’s start with a basic: the one-minute break. As unlikely as it may sound, it can recharge you for the rest of the day.

So, what does an efficient break at work look and feel like? Several times a day, take a one-minute break. You can even make it just a few seconds to start with, if one minute sounds way too long to you. You do not need any particular place or environment, just wherever you are, close your eyes, breathe out deeply, let your shoulders down, unclench your jaw, forget everything and listen only to your breathing.

Short breaks

Ok, it might not be ideal to do this in a meeting but otherwise, you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you want to make it two or five minutes, excellent, but keep in mind that it is more efficient to have several very short breaks during the day rather than one longer one. Studies show that we should do this at least every two hours. And please do it even if you are feeling absolutely fine, taking a break BEFORE you are tired is a big part of the secret to keeping your mojo going.

If you think you will not even remember to do it, a few ideas may help: setting an alarm on your phone (not a dreadful shrill, something a bit more zen-like would get you going nicely, there are plenty of fun apps out there), putting a sticky note with a fun doodle on the side of your screen or simply using the time when you finish something and are about to start on another task.

So what are you waiting for?  You have just finished reading, perfect time to take a break now!





Florence is an international expert in stress and sleep management, a performance coach and sophrology practitioner. She works with executives who need to perform at a high level and face pressures and challenges on an everyday basis.

She teaches them practical tools and strategies to be at their best when they need it most, know how to “switch off” and “on” at will, remain in control, have energy, focus, a clear head and build resilience. With methods similar to those used by Olympians, she helps her clients develop the brain power of a corporate athlete: their mind at its best.