5 Ways To Break Up Your Work Day

Today’s post is written by Kelsey Hennegen, a 3rd year political science student at UCSB and PR/Writing Intern at FindTheBest.

5 Ways To Break Up Your Work Day

As one who had held only part-time jobs and summer internships throughout school, my history of intermittent employment hardly prepared me for the transition to the workplace. That which I expected to be most daunting at my new job–impressing my bosses, consistently and quickly producing quality work, and understanding the jargon of the internet start-up industry–was superseded by an unexpected challenge: simply working at a computer for 8+ hours per day. In adjusting to these expectations, I’ve discovered 5 ways to stay engaged through a long work day:

1. Take a Stand

When you’re tired, you may find yourself inclined to slouch deeper into your chair. This sort of poor posture only furthers feelings of exhaustion, often negatively impacting productivity. To break up a long day, I work at a standing desk for at least a few hours. Taking this active stance forces me to be more alert, a simple change that can be quite invigorating. So, before reaching for another cup of coffee, try standing at your desk.

2. Switch it Up

If you have a monotonous project that will consume most of your day, add a few incentives to help complete the task. Break up your dense data analysis or endless editing by answering work-related emails or completing quick side projects every few hours. These allows you to take a break from a tedious project, while remaining productive. Also, set one or two benchmark goals for the day, then reward yourself upon completion. The important thing is to reward yourself after you accomplish a certain amount of your project, not after a particular amount of time. That way, you’re pushing yourself to finish, rather than watching the clock tick.

3. Get Active

As I walked into the office for my job interview, I was surprised to see a ping pong table in the back of the room. Since starting my job, I’ve come to appreciate it, for it presents a welcome break from work and an opportunity to get my heart pumping. If you don’t have the luxury of a ping pong table in the office, take a quick walk around the office or the block. Some brisk movement, even for a few minutes, can help you feel more awake and alert. Reep twice the benefits by doing the best exercise activities to burn calories, helping you stay fit and maintain focus at work.

4.  De-stress with Deep Breaths

The power of closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths should never be underestimated. Just as a project feels insurmountable and the pressure unbearable, take a moment to shut out the stress. Sit up, relax your shoulders, and roll your neck or massage your temples as you take a few slow, deliberate breaths. This helps me feel calm and centered, even during the most chaotic days.

 5. Keep from Crashing

A fatty breakfast or sugary frappuccino will leave you depleted mid-morning when your blood sugar crashes. Instead, eat balanced meals and bring a few healthy snacks to work. If you’re going to eat fruit, have a good fat or protein with it to lower the glycemic index. A handful of raw almonds will keep the fruit from being metabolized as sugar, providing more sustained energy. Be mindful of the sugar in soda and the sugar in energy drinks, for these will also spike your blood sugar, causing it to crash a few hours later. To help you decide the best meals to get when headed out to lunch, consider the following nutrition information:

Use these tips to maintain energy and attention throughout a long day at work.  Good luck!

How do you break up your work day?


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