There’s nothing quite like being in the zone. You know the place. When you’re undistracted and words pour onto the page like summer rain. All the world fades away and there’s nothing but your thoughts, the keyboard, and an increasing word count.
Being in the zone is magical. But all magic comes at a price. And soon your happy place turns into a black hole; sucking every last ounce of energy and imagination out of you until your completely drained and it’s not even 10 a.m.
All work and no play makes Robyn a dull writer. You’ve probably heard this a million times. Perhaps from friends inviting you to hang out after work or over a weekend. But the saying is not only true for “after hours”. It’s true for working hours too. Our bodies and brains need a break every now and then. To relax and reboot so you can end your day without feeling like your head is empty. Here are five tricks I use to sustain my productivity during a workday.
1. Go for short walks. A colleague and I usually go for a midmorning walk. Sometimes around the block. Sometimes we walk to the Company Gardens or we stop by one of the many coffee shops around the office building. The change of scenery, chitchat, and activity are like pushing restart.
2. Take coffee breaks. If coffee isn’t your thing tea or WATER work just as well. The aim is to put distance between you and your desk. Just standing away from your desk waiting for the kettle to boil offers relief to the tired worn out mind. It’s like coming up for air.
3. Do something else. For me, it’s admin. Believe it or not, organizing spreadsheets energize me. I don’t know why. So when I need a little boost after lunch I update one of my many trackers, my Goodreads TBR, or if I have nothing to update, I create a new tracking sheet. The break from whatever task you were doing gives your brain time to rest.
4. Stretch. Desk stretches are good for posture, meditation, and they reduce stress. Simple movements like stretching your neck or swinging your arms can help release tension that builds up while you work.
5. Check your phone. My last resort is checking my e-mails, messages, and Instagram. Remember to keep it brief though. The goal is to take a short break to boost your productivity for the next stretch. Or sometimes I type a quick note like this one. In fact, this post was drafted during one of my mini-breaks.
What are your goto productivity boosters? Do you prefer regular short breaks or one long break? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
From Cape Town with love