Management » Break from Work » 30 Things to Do When You Need a Break at Work

30 Things to Do When You Need a Break at Work

If you are hunched over your computer all day, and tiring yourself out. It’s important for you to take short breaks to refresh yourself.

Working for long hours is not good for health, but it also affects productivity. The human brain has its limitations when it comes to information retention, So you need short breaks to energize your mind and do better work at your office.

Well, here you need to understand that utilizing the breaks is also a science. Instead of scrolling Facebook or watching a youtube video, you can try these listed things so you can get effective breaks at work.

What To Do To Energize Yourself?

Feeling tired and slumped is normal,  but here are a few things that can help in getting a boost of energy and get rid of the afternoon slumps for you.

Try The Desk Stretching

Working too long causes stress and it makes your muscles sore. Including your shoulder, backbone, and neck, your body gets tense especially when you are sitting in one position.

Image source: safetyhealthmagazine

To remove that stress, here are some basic ones that you can do the desk stretching.

You can try :

Seated Spinal Rotation

It’s good for your shoulder and neck, as it gives a quick fix to the soreness caused by working too long on the computer.

  • While seated,  you need to cross your arms over your chest.
  • Now grab the shoulder
  • Rotate the upper body from your waist. Keep it gentle and move it from left to right.
  • You feel the stretch from your lower back and the tension getting relieved.

Shoulder Shrugs

To get a quick boost to the strength of the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscle or for improving the posture. This one is good to try.

  • Lift your shoulders, keep it gentle.
  • Now let them fall slowly.
  • Keep repeating it at a slow pace until you feel your muscles relaxed.

Neck Rotation

Neck rotation is good for loosening up the tight muscles, reducing the pressure on the spine, and relieving pain.

  • Keep your head in an upright position
  • Now turn your head gently toward one another.
  • As you turn your head, try to move it past the shoulder.

Sitting Back Extension

Sitting too long on a chair causes serious pain to your lower back and upper back. Also, it causes pain to your shoulder and neck. To relieve this.

  • Sit straight on your chair, and keep your feet together.
  • Now put your palm into the small of your back.
  • Lean slowly over your hand, you can feel the stretch to your lower back.

Go For Walk, If Not Outside Then Keep It Indoor

You can go for walks since you are at work, you can’t go far and do long ones. Here you can walk two laps around to your office building or the block.

However, if you can’t go outside, maybe it’s raining or it’s too cold, you can use the stairs of your office and walk up and down a few times.

If you need more reasons to add the walk without disturbing our schedule you can consider these points –

  • Offer your coworker a treat or bring coffee for them from the nearest coffee shop. This will help you in getting short work but also brownie points from the team.
  • If you have to make calls, step outside and do it while walking. Go back and forth until you are on the phone.

Take 15 Minute Nap

Taking naps can help you in energizing your body and refreshing your mind. However, it can be a little tricky, as if you oversleep not only can it cause serious problems at work but also it makes your mind feel foggy.

Well to make sure you are taking a healthy nap without any problem, here are some tips for you :

  • Use a timer and set it for 15 minutes. When times up, make sure you gently wake up and walk out of the room.
  • Find someplace where you don’t have too much light. And keep the noise away.
  • If you are not sleepy, just close your eyes and calm yourself. It will help in reducing the stress inside your head.
  • Don’t let yourself oversleep, first of all, you are at work and you don’t want to feel tired.

Find Something That Inspires You

Use your breaks to motivate yourself. You can find some useful podcasts, ted talks, or your favorite speakers’ videos to watch.

It will help in boosting your energy and motivate yourself to work better as well as more effectively.

However here is the trick, motivation works when you need it, overdoing it can make you tired. So make sure you know exactly what you need the motivation for.

What To Do To Improve Your Productivity?

If you feel like your productivity is getting some serious hits, and you are not working as you suppose to work or used to work, then you can use your break and try these things that make you more productive.

Organize The Smartphone & Laptop Of Yours

There might be a lot of apps that you may not be using. It’s creating too much mess in your smartphone, not just it is making your smartphone slow but you feel distracted by those useless apps.

Take some time, and delete what you don’t need. The same goes for the laptop or desktop. Remove all the files that are not in use, and arrange your desktop so you can access important things much faster.

Clean Out Your Drawers

When was the last time you checked what’s in your office drawers? If its too long then you should pay attention to that 

Declutter the drawer and see what items you don’t need. Remove the old gums, pens, and paper clips that are not in use.

Arrange it again, so when you are working, you know what is where.

Unsubscribe Things You Are Not Needed

Do you have emails that you don’t want but are still crowding your inbox? Well, you can use the break for ensuring those unwanted emails.

Image source: chromegoogle

At Least unsubscribe 10 newsletters that you no longer need. Anything that you haven’t read or don’t want to read and still you are getting the emails, it’s the perfect time to remove all of those newsletters to keep your email look fresh and less crowded.

Rename And Arrange Files

It takes forever to find the right file or document when it’s needed, especially when you have a boss waiting for the urgent files.

It can be hectic and cause delays to your work. That’s why you can use your break to rename the important files so you can find them easily.

Also, arrange it in order so it won’t take too much time when your boss is watching you.  

What To Do When You For Socializing In Break?

You can use your breaks to get in touch with your cokers, friends, or even family, socialize with them, and talk about things.

However apart from this, here are some of the other stuff you can try for becoming more social during the breaks.

Step Outside And Call Someone

It can be your mom,  siblings, friends, or someone who usually talks. You can call them and ask about their day.

Talking to someone can help in reversing your mind. Also, it’s a quick way to relax and boost your focus as you have the complete senior when you are on call. It takes your mind off from your work.

Also talking to someone you know, especially someone you are close with makes you feel happy which is a great way to boost your mood.

Offer For The Extra Help

Well, there are chances that you are the one who is on the break but the coworker near you is piled with work.

Well, you might wonder why you should do someone else’s work on your break. But there are few reasons that can help you in understanding the benefits.

By offering the extra help improves your relationship with your colleague. Don’t forget you might get the return favor when you are in need.

Also helping someone makes you feel good about yourself. It helps in boosting the mood and gives the feeling of accomplishment.

Take A Walk Meeting With Colleague

If you both have one break, then you both need refreshments and a change of scenery. Well to that, you can ask your colleague to go and grab a coffee.

Also, you can do a walking meeting. You can use the time talking about things you might have thoughts about.  Ask for your opinion or have a discussion. It will help in boosting the relationship between you two.

Send A Thank You Note

Do you have someone who helped you recently? Maybe it’s the assistant or coworker who went above and beyond to help you out when you needed to.

However it doesn’t have to be something big, but sending a thank you note can help in boosting the relationship but also make their day happy as well.

Everyone feels good when they get the appreciation, so make sure you do that more often.

What To Do On Breaks For Brain Boosting?

Breaks can be used for getting some amazing brain boosts. You can nurture some of the ideas that keep going round and round in your head.  

You can use your break to do some brain-boosting and for that here are some points that you can consider.

Grab Healthy Brain-Boosting Snacks

Working for so long makes you feel tired, but the same goes for your brain. Lots of people ignore the diet because they are too busy, not just it harms your body but your brain doesn’t function properly if you don’t have enough strength and the right diet.

brain boosting snacks for office breaks

There are different foods and snacks that you can try to make sure your brain stays active and productive.  Some of the snacks you can consider are blueberries,  spinach,  kale chips, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds,  nuts, avocado, etc.

Keep A Non WorkBook With You

For keeping your break more effective, you can keep books around you.  Pick something funny, fiction, and non-work-related.

However, reading non-fiction is also good but try to choose books that are lighter and less distressing.

But it depends on your taste. And if you find yourself getting too much into the book,  make sure you keep the timer set and when you are done reading, put it side or somewhere you cant see.

Reading books can help you in improving focus but also boost productivity.

Also if you like reading, it will be a treat for you. For your eyes, it is a relaxation to get away from screens.

As for light heart and quick reading for lunchtime, here are some of the books for you to try –

Where’d You Go By Maria Semple

Image source: latestbookcrush

The book is perfect for launch break, it’s light and great for stopping in the middle when you have to return to your work. Also, it’s funny with a touch of drama and mystery.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Image source: goodreads

This collection of essays written by David Sedaris, it’s a hilarious journey of learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture. This book is best to consider if you want to get away from your midday slump.

Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell

Image source: skylawayrnrnen

If you are looking for something in non-fiction, inspirational and motivating, this can help you in that. The Book is also good for learning what makes someone successful in their life which can help you in planning your life better.

Write What You Feel Like

Writing helps your mind to arrange its thoughts better. It helps in boosting your brain’s power and exploring your creative side of yours.

Well, you can use the time break for writing what you want. It can be anything and about anything.  You can do blogging, pen a short story or if you are intents in writing novels, you can do that too.

This allows your break to utilize something which will bring you results and you get accomplished something side by side.

Learn A New Language

 You can download language learning apps like Duolingo and take lessons for whatever language you want to learn.

There are several fun languages that you can consider. Also, it adds a skill to your reuse which makes you efficient.

It will help you in increasing your international vocabulary every day.

most fun languages to learn in office breaks

What To Do On Breaks For Career Building?

You can consider using the breast for doing something little by little that can help in building your career.

Since the breaks are not that lengthy, you can divide the lessons and keep them slow. Also, the excitement of learning something makes you feel more productive and in the end, you will have a satisfying day.

Pin Your Favorites On Pinterest

Well instead of looking for crafty DIYs or food recipes, you can use Pinterest for creating the board that helps you in inspiring for the career you want to achieve.

It’s helpful for manifesting to see what you want in the future. Pinterest can be a great option where you can create the boards for creative resumes, companies you want to work in the future, work outfits that look impressive, etc.

Freshen Up Your LinkedIn

Do you remember when was the last time you checked your Linkedin? If the answer is no, then you should use the breaks for updating your profile.

Linkedin is an important platform where you can build manful contacts and find opportunities.

So make sure your profile is updated. Also, you can check what your connections are doing and recent updates.

Image source: Theb2bhouse

You can send congratulations and comment on their achievement.  It might be good for your network building, but also you never know when staying in touch with someone brings a golden opportunity for you.

Find Class or  Conferences

Look for the conference or classes that are going on. You can make a list of upcoming events where you want to participate.

Sign up so you get the notification. Searching for such classes and conferences might take time, so you can use the breaks as it gives you a perfect opportunity to not waste valuable working hours.

Manifest Your Ideas

Manifesting is a powerful tool, and you should use it more often. It gives you clarity and confidence in knowing what you want in the future.

Sit back and think about what kind of career you want, what life to live, and what else you need to do to achieve that.

ways manifest what you desire

Sometimes sitting alone and daydreaming can help you in getting the clarity that boosts your confidence in how as well as why you want to achieve something.

Get In Touch With Your Contacts

You can get in touch with the contacts you previously worked with or connected with. See what they are doing online, you can text them congratulating them about their achievement.

Or you can discuss something they had in mind. The point is to give a fresh boost to the relationship so you can have your leads for the future.

What To Do On Breaks For Relaxing?

If you want to take a break and reel yourself in, here are some of the things that you can try.

Do Nothing For At Least Few Minutes

Well, the best way to relax is to do nothing for two minutes. Sit quietly, without touching anything. Think about something in your head and focus on that picture, and try to get more detailed with every passing second.

This helps in relaxing your brain and trains you to get a better focus.

Pick Something Inspiring As Your Background Image

You can use the time for finding something inspiring on Pinterest or Google. Choose the background which makes you feel good and calm.

You can make a file and add the background images. Rotate it so you get something fresh to look at on your desktop.

Treat Yourself Something Good

Head for your favorite coffee shop, and get yourself something delicious. Treat the good drinks that you like, it can be a peppermint mocha, chai tea,  latte, or anything warm that you want to have.

Sit there and relax, drink and enjoy.

Write Anything You Want

Instead of thinking about what you want to write, just pick the pen and diary and start writing it.

Don’t worry if you are writing something which makes no sense, you can just put it down to your feelings and whatever’s going around you.

What To Do In Breaks If You Want Something Distracting?

You can simply enjoy your breaks as refreshments and let them distract you from the work for a time being.

And for that here are some of the points for to you consider –

Get The Buzzfeed Dose

Well, it’s addictive and fun. They have someone starting a range of articles, quizzes, and fun ideas.

Image sourc: BBC

You can check different things and use them for getting refreshed ideas. However, make sure you put the timer so you don’t end up wasting more time than needed.

Make Your Bucket list

Tap to your imagination, think about what you want and how you want to do it. There are lots of things you have planned to do.

So make a bucket list, add new things every day or when you feel like it. You can use different tools and search different sites where you can find ideas of how you can make the list.

Make Your Playlist

Creating a playlist can help you in working all day without feeling tired. However, the Playlist depends on what you like and what you want to listen to.

You can use the break for creating the playlist, choose songs that you like, and put it in a folder.

tips creating perfect playlist at work

You can either use different apps or you can create a playlist on your device.

Try Drawing Or Painting Something

You can either use the desktop for that as there are lots of apps that allow you to change your creative side.

If not then you can get papers and colors, stock them near you and doodle what you are feeling.

You don’t have to be Picasso, just draw what you like and have fun.

Try Origami

Origami is good for the mind as it increases focus and improves productivity. Origami can be fun and challenging.

You can try different ones as there is a huge range. Find some of the good tutorials on youtube and follow the steps.

Image source: wikipedia

You can use the created origami as desktop accessories. It will make you feel good.

why origami is good for you

Enjoy Your Food, Eat Slowly

Well, you can try this if you just want to relax and enjoy your food. Working at an office always requires you to stay sharp and active, lots of people avoid eating or do it fast so they can go back to work.

However, it makes you unhealthy and invites other different problems. To enjoy the break, get something delicious to eat and take your time.

Print Activity Pack And Do Some Pages

There are a lot of illustrations on the internet, you can download some of the activity packs and print them out.

It can be interesting, fun, delightful, and improves your creative side. Also, you can find different templates and try filling some of them when you are on break.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Why Do You Need A Break At Work?


Taking breaks helps in resetting your brain which gets tired after working too long. Also sitting In front of the desktop makes your eyes strain and your body tensed. Taking breaks helps in feeling refreshed and healthy.

What Are The Signs That You Need A Break?


When you are working for too long, it causes a burnout-like situation. Here you might feel fatigued,  lack motivation, insomnia,  restlessness, indifferently, etc.

How To Regain Focus After Taking A Break?


Set the timer so you know when your break is going to end. Mentally prepare yourself for the work, and make sure you do rest when it’s time for that. It requires practicing and it will take time to become a habit.

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