8 Productive Ways to Spend Your Work Breaks

David Spence
March 26th, 2015

Stay Productive, Even When You’re Not Working

1. Stretch or Exercise

Too much sitting contributes to a number of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and even various forms of cancer. If you find yourself sitting for a long period of time, make sure to get up and move every half hour. Stretch your back and shoulder muscles to prevent soreness, or do some exercises to prevent joint stiffness. Facilities Managers are often on their feet moving from one part of the office to another so hopefully this help you stay mobile.

2. Meditate

Meditating is an excellent way to relieve stress and quiet your mind. But if you’ve never meditated before, it can be difficult to dive right in. Luckily, plenty of apps and websites provide guided meditation. Calm.com, for example, lets you choose a guided meditation that lasts in increments of two or five minutes. It’s useful if you’re pressed for time, or the thought of meditating for 10 minutes just doesn’t appeal.

3. Sort Through Your Inbox

Some of us might be guilty of letting our inboxes get more and more full until it numbers in the hundreds or more. Why not use the downtime to delete those old messages you know you won’t need, or sort the important ones into folders so you don’t have to search for them every time you need them? Even if your email system is set up to automatically delete emails that reach a certain age, it can be satisfying to trim down your inbox, nonetheless.

4. Clean Out Your Desktop

It’s also easy to let our computer desktop become riddled with various files, documents and spreadsheets. Delete the ones you don’t need anymore, or sort the ones you do into their own folders. Doing this will make finding what you need a lot easier, and it will also make your computer less intimidating.

5. Read Up on FM Industry News or Network Online

Checking websites and blogs for the latest on the industry is a smart way to find out what’s going on in the world of FM. You may also want to check out online industry groups, like the groups for facilities managers on LinkedIn, for any discussions that may pertain to your own professional concerns or interests. Ask a question or leave a comment—you’ll be networking, without ever leaving the office.

6. Chat with a Colleague

When you’re working alone in your office for several hours at a time, the experience can be quite isolating. Take a few minutes to check in with a colleague. Whether it’s work-related and you want to ask a colleague about their work environment, or you just want to see how they’re doing, connecting with your colleagues will go a long way in building up your workplace relationships—and getting you away from your computer.

7. Go Outside

Being in the fresh air can be an instant mood booster. If you feel yourself getting bogged down with stress, it might help to change your environment, even if it’s just for five minutes. Try taking a walk around the facility to clear your head and enjoy the outdoors.

8. Rest Your Eyes

You can strain your eyes from working at your computer for a long time. It’s recommended that you look away from your screen at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. If you’re unable to do that on a consistent basis, however, you can take at least take a break from looking at the computer screen by organizing your desk, sorting through files or reviewing paper documents.

These eight strategies can help you stay productive, even when you’re not “working.” Whether you use them during a lunch break or a mini-break in the afternoon, these activities are a good way to make the most of your free time.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/njaj