5 Mind-Stimulating Things To Do During Breaks At Work

You can stay sharp on the job if you use your breaks strategically, using your free time to recharge and hit your workload again with momentum. Wasting your break time with mind-numbing or exhausting activities, on the other hand, can trip you up.

Lifehack.org suggests some stimulating things to try during your downtime:

* Pull a friend aside. Timing your breaks to that of a close co-worker can bolster your structure and give you things to look forward to.

* Listen to a song. Have some relaxing or inspiring music at the ready to listen to as you take a brief walk.

* Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Aim for 10 deep breaths that will flush the tension away for a brief meditation.

* Savor an apple. Don’t just gobble it up. Focus on the tiny sensual pleasures of each bite.

* Spread good cheer. Seek out someone who has helped you and stop by to share your appreciation in person.

21 Counter-Intuitive Break Ideas to Boost Your Productivity at Work [Lifehack.org]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Phildogger says:

    Isn’t the idea of a break to NOT stimulate the mind? C’mon Phil, these are getting downright silly now.

  2. spiketoo says:

    Wow – you guys actually have nothing of interest to post on this site, eh?

    What about a double-deuce? I always find that stimulating.

    • El_Fez says:

      Plus you get the pleasure of getting paid while taking a dump. How cool is that?

      • deathbecomesme says:

        I use to take on avg about 3 dumps a day. 4 on a good day. So that = ~1hr of paid dumps. Not bad for a days work.

        You find odd things to kill time with boring jobs. But I do miss it sometimes because now I deal with the public. Ugh!!!

  3. ellmar says:

    “the tiny sensual pleasures of each bite.” yuck.

  4. Cat says:

    If I only copy 5 things I find on a list of 21, it’s not really plagiarism, is it?

  5. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I usually take a leak and get a cuppa coffee.

  6. Gman says:

    – Read funny comments on a Phil article
    – Debate with co-workers on if articles like this are just a symptom of a massive CMS bug that keeps on sending articles to the wrong blog.

  7. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    #22 Read Consumerist and laugh at all the haters.

  8. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    #15. Make animals of the clouds.


  9. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    //Listen to a song//

    Sorry, no. Listening to music is what I do DURING work, not when on break.

  10. Cat says:


    (Our engineers have big bongs. They must, I swear)

  11. Cicadymn says:

    I’ve never associated eating an apple with “tiny sensual pleasure” I just uhh….yea…ate the apple.

  12. elephantattack says:
  13. Captain Spock says:

    With my iPod touch i can listen to a song and savor an Apple at the same time!

  14. Kuri says:

    Heh, if things keeps going as they are breaks will be a thing of the past.

    Of course some likely don’t want us stimulating out minds, they can’t have us thinking too much.

  15. CharlesFarley says:

    Buddy the Elf approves of #5.

  16. rawley69 says:

    I do crosswords and sudoku.

  17. shepd says:

    Eat an orange. One. Juice. Sac. At. A. Time.

  18. ClemsonEE says:

    Considering I’m allergic to apples, I’m going to pass.

  19. Martha Gail says:

    Eh, I don’t see this as being productive. I like the Pomodoro Technique, myself, or whatever you want to call the version I made for me.

    Set a timer for a specific length and a goal, say 20 minutes. Work towards that goal until the timer goes off.

    Take a 5 minute break and during that break get up and move around and complete one task (if I’m at home, I’ll try and start a load of laundry in five minutes, or I’ll vacuum one section of the house. If I’m at work, I’ll get up and organize something on my desk or take a brisk walk down the hallway.) The idea is that you move around and take your focus off work.

    When your break timer goes off, start your work timer all over again. After four cycles, take a 15 minute break.

    I find that if I’m stuck on a bit of code, when I come back from my break, I can solve the issue almost immediately. It’s like while I’m doing my break task, my brain is solving the problem in the background.

  20. u1itn0w2day says:

    For breaks a few rounds of mortal combat with my eye lids.

  21. bgeek says:

    I like to watch someone savor an apple.
    “Go slower…now faster…slower…slower…yeah…”

  22. chefboyardee says:

    Wow. Just wow. I swear Phil is doing this on purpose.

  23. tooluser says:

    Is $1 a cup too much to pay for a cup of Keurig coffee made at work?

    Thank you.

  24. DarkPsion says:

    And how many of those 21 will your boss allow you to do?

  25. corridor7f says:

    Unless I’m having a particularly stressful day, I’m not one to take breaks. I get into a zone and don’t want to break my flow (except to pee – heh) until lunch time. I take my full hour, go for a walk, eat and surf the internet a bit.

    What kind of keener goes around thanking people on their break? C’mon…