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Take a break | Working from Home – How l made it work.

08 May 13:00 by Meagan Plaucs

break, coffee

So far in the working from home series l have written about setting up your workspace, the importance of staying connected and lastly getting up and getting dressed. In this week’s entry l look at that one thing we all from time to time skip and that is taking a break during your work day.

Part 4 - Take a break

So, you are up, dressed and if required you have dropped the kids at school, following a quick catch up with other parents at school gate, you have returned home and your work day has begun. Many of us are guilty of not taking regular breaks or working through lunch while at work, this can be especially so when working from home.

Just like in a normal office setting you still need to get your work done. And it is only too easy to get caught up with the task at hand where by the time that you look up from your work, you realise that hours have passed and you haven’t left your desk. If you were in the office with your colleague’s chances are you would have microbreaks throughout the day, been out to grab a drink, use the bathroom or to collect printing from the printer. These are all ways that you would psychically remove yourself from your desk. And when working from home is just like being in an office, you need to make the effort to have these microbreaks.

Make time in your day to take breaks. 

Set an alarm on your phone to prompt youself to get up from your desk and walk away from your work for a few minutes. Grab  a drink, snack or simply step outside for a breath of fresh air. Make sure you take time for lunch. l set myself a 30-minute lunch break everyday where l step out of my home office, close the door and go to the kitchen to make a bite to eat. If the weather is favourable l often eat my lunch outside. I use this time to make personal calls, catch up on the news and time permitting l put on my trusty sneakers and go for a walk around the block. At the end of my lunch break l wash my dishes, grab myself a glass of water and head back to my home office to tackle the afternoon.

Why do l make a point of scheduling my lunch break? 

Not only does it mean that l am eating lunch and eating it away from my desk, but it also helps me to refocus my thoughts and it reenergises me. I also make it a habit to stand up every hour and do some light stretches to ensure that I’m not sitting in the same position for hours on end, which as we know isn’t good for your overall posture and body’s wellbeing. An hourly small break has been proven to increase productivity and creativity. So, next time you feel guilty about taking that small break, just remember that it is going to make you more effective, productive and will assist with your physical and mental wellbeing.