Tag Archive: breaks



relaxing, me time, time for myselfIf you’re like more women business owners when you look at your daily agenda, you find yourself at the bottom of the list or, you’re not even there. You’re caught up in all there is to do and your clients, children, significant other and everything else make it to your agenda before you do. When self care goes out the window it can leave you feeling tired, frustrated and stressed out. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you get time to yourself and that you are at the top of your list of priorities. It’s time to move away from being caught up and shifting things to create the space for you in your life.

Life moves at a fast pace these days and your plate is full, so it becomes easy to forget to recharge. Giving time to yourself will relieve the frustration and the stress, which is one way to open the door for getting things done. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity and will give you the energy to get through your days mentally and physically. Giving time to yourself in the morning with a routine that’s a fit for you will set the tone for your day. The most productive people in business have a designated morning routine. Making time for breaks during the day just to breathe will help you get present, clear your mind and it increases productivity level and creativity. You’ll come back refreshed, recharged physically and mentally ready to take on the rest of the day. Refueling your body with the right nutrients during the day will do wonders for getting to the bottom of your to-do list too. Imagine what doing this on a regular basis will do for your days and, more importantly, for you. It’s possible to do and you can start right now by looking at your calendar and adding yourself to your daily agenda. Carve out time in the morning, breaks during the day and time to relax and unwind at the end of your day. Create what works for you, get your me time into your calendar, with a reminder and stick to it. It will boost your productivity.

 

 


I recently sent an email out to my list giving them a chance to borrow my brain and get any question they had about productivity answered. That week questions came from other places too. One question I was asked while on the phone with a colleague was, “How is it that I’m productive for three days in a row then have no energy or the right attitude to get things done?” What she shared with me was that during the last few weeks she found herself in a space where she was able to focus and get things done for about three days and then she just couldn’t bring herself back to that space again. She couldn’t stay focused and definitely wasn’t in the frame of mind to do so either.

Each of those days she had started working mid morning and worked until after dinner, sometimes stopping to eat dinner and then coming back to work and at times burning the midnight oil. She was burning herself out, which many women entrepreneurs do. What I suspected was that she wasn’t giving time to herself as was the case. No breaks to grab a healthy snack or take a quick walk or just breathe. She may or may not stop to eat lunch so she could continue to work her way through the things on her list and be farther along with her project. Plowing through those days got things done, but depleted her physically and mentally and it took a couple of days to get things moving again.

If you don’t have time during the day when you give to yourself, now is the time to start doing it. Create a morning routine that allows you space to breathe and to get grounded and focused. You might add a work out or some yoga and meditation. Let the focus be entirely on you. Not your family, not even your business, but on you. Create times during the day when you stop to take a break from work. Step away from your desk or out of your office and again focus on yourself. What do you need in that space? Maybe you need to fuel your body or take the dog for a walk. You will find that those breaks leave you refreshed and ready to knock off the rest of the things on your agenda for the day. Finally, know where to draw the line. Choose a time to end your work days and honor yourself and your time by sticking to it. This will give you the energy, focus and frame of mind you need and will put an end to the weeks where you run out of steam.

 


The process of the Pomodoro Technique is made up of 5 stages: planning, tracking, recording, processing and visualizing.  A Pomodoro is 30 minutes long and includes 25 minutes of work and a 5 minute break.  Those using the Pomodoro Technique choose tasks they want to work on at the beginning of the day, prioritize them and place them on a to-do list in the order they want to work on them.

Once that’s done, the timer is set and work begins.  The segment can’t be interrupted or divided.  If it is interrupted, it’s considered to be void and is started over.  When the timer goes off, an “X” is placed next to the task that was worked on and the 5 minute break time begins.  The break time lets the individual disconnect and allows the mind to assimilate what’s been learned in the last 25 minutes.  It’s also a great time for the quick stretching or walk that most don’t get during the course of the work day.  The point of the break is absolutely no significant mental activity.

Once the break is over, it’s time for the next segment, or Pomodoro, and the timer is set for 25 minutes again and work begins and continues until the timer goes off again.  The process continues with a longer break, taken every four Pomodoros.  These longer breaks lasts anywhere from 15-30 minutes and are used for checking email or voice mail or can be used for the same purpose as the shorter breaks. Whatver the longer breaks are used for they are not used for focusing on the tasks that were worked on during each Pomodoro.  Pomodoros continue in the same fashion until the task at hand is complete and can then be crossed of the to-do list.  If a task is finished before the timer goes off, time is used to review what was done or to make improvements until the timer goes off.

More on the Pomodoro Technique in the next post.


I  just came back from a much needed break.  I’ve been working on a lot of different things lately that will premiere between the fall and next spring while keeping up with the usual.

Knowing how important it is to take breaks, I made my last one a little bit longer than usual.  Breaks are a necessary part of any schedule.  No matter how busy you are you need time to regroup and to recharge so that you can accomplish everything that needs to be done.

Do you stop during the course of your work day to take a quick break?  Even just a walk to the water cooler at work or to the kitchen for a quick snack that you have waiting is good.  Get up from your desk or workspace and go outside for a walk around the building and to catch a breath of fresh air.  When you take that short period of time it gives your mind and your body the break that they need and also allows you return to the task at hand with a clear and fresh mind, rejuvenated and ready to go.

If you’re not in the habit of adding a break or two during the course of your day, I strongly suggest that you make it a habit. Also be in the habit of taking a day, two days or a week off at least a few times a year.  You don’t have to go anywhere, just catch some R&R and make the time to be good to yourself.  These are habits that will support you in being at your top productivity level and your mind and body will appreciate it too.

I take at least two breaks during the course of my day and at the end of each, I’m ready to get back to what I’ve been doing.  That last break that I took worked wonders for me.  I am physically rejuvenated, my mind is refreshed and full of new ideas and ready to create new things.  Have you taken a break today?  When was the last time you took a vacation?  If you haven’t taken a break today or haven’t taken some time off in a while, decide right now when you’re going to take a break and when you’re next vacation is going to be and then add it to your calendar.

Taking breaks is a necessary part of any work day, regardless of how busy you are.  In fact, the busier you are, the more important the breaks are.  Putting time in your schedule for a quick break during the day and regular days off is a must for everyone.

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