We’ve all heard the ‘take a break and come back to it’ advice before, and as nice as it is to hear, most of us don’t really take it seriously, or consider it very practical. Yet in one study, researchers asked people to go for a walk for half an hour in the middle of the day, three times a week over the span of ten weeks.
Using a smartphone app, they then recorded various markers of mood, workload, tiredness, and motivation, and found that the same participants were far more engaged and far less stressed with work assigned to them in the office than before. These participants were also found to be more confident and enthusiastic about their work than before the introduction of their walks.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed out at work, or you simply wish to ensure you’re avoiding burning out, skipping your desk meal and ensuring you get some time away from the office will ensure you’re working at optimum efficiency.
As journalist Jessica Hullinger writes, ‘just putting some space between you and your workload has a restorative effect on your brain’. The next time you’re feeling stuck, try taking some time away from the screen, and spending time outside with colleagues or going for a quick walk on your own: the results may surprise you.
Food psychologist Dr. Christy Fergusson warns against over-eating for more than just the way it affects productivity. She writes ‘research has shown that eating while distracted can lead to overeating(…) one study found that those eating while watching TV ate 36% more pizza and 71% more macaroni and cheese’. Keeping away from your desk while eating and being more mindful about what you eat will you help stave away from unnecessary calories and ensure you’re not feeling lethargic afterwards as well.
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