It feels like you arrived at work a couple of hours ago, but it’s not time to eat lunch yet. It must be break time!
You ate a few hours ago, but it’s not time to go home yet. It must be break time!
Some people like to unwind during these periods by grabbing another cup of coffee or sneaking outside for a smoke. However, you would rather work on optimizing break time to improve creativity. In that case, consider the following activities the next time you step away from the desk.
Stand Up From Your Desk
Sitting at a desk all day not only constricts your blood flow but it also can impede your creativity. A study at the Stanford University found that taking a walk regularly can improve your creativity skills not to mention the other typical health benefits that come with exercise.
Exercise you can do at the office includes taking a walk around your office building, or a stroll in the local park to enjoy an outdoor environment. If a bike is available, you can cruise along the local hiking and river trails.. In many large cities, exercise can be had by avoiding the elevator and instead walk up and down the stairs. If you can’t leave, try these exercises at your desk instead.
Not only does this improve your creativity skills but you also have time to exercise your brain and think of new ideas without having to be focused on a document on your computer screen.
Watch Videos On Your Computer
When leaving your desk isn’t a choice, another way to improve the quality of your break time is to watch videos on the internet.
There are plenty of educational TED talks available where get speakers spend between 15 and 20 minutes explaining a complex subject in easy-to-understand language. Plenty of videos also exist on the internet that explains how things work such as the engine in your car or how NASA launched the Space Shuttle several years ago.
Find out how things work in an Industry other than your own to attain new alternatives of how to accomplish your own tasks and improve productivity.
Studies have proven that being in a good mood alone can improve your creativity, so watch those funny cat videos if that’s what it takes.
Draw A Picture
Another creative activity you can do at your desk is doodling.
Think up a topic and write that word in the middle of the page. Write or draw branches out from that word and write related words or subtopics. This is sometimes called a mind map because you can drill down even further and further within a topic by expanding the tree out towards the edges of the page.
Another actively is drawing the same object from multiple angles. Think of a random object not related to your industry and draw a picture of it at what it might look at like from an overhead view, from a frontal view, from the side view, from an angled View, and from underneath.
When doodling make sure not to use a blank sheet of paper to avoid the dreaded blank slate.. Instead, use a grid or lined paper such as that notebook sitting next to your computer mouse.
Optimizing Break Time By Quickly Reading A Book
If you are a fan of learning facts, try speed reading a book during your brief breaks.
Speed reading is a gained skill in that the more you do it the faster you can read. There are also eBooks, such as Amazon Kindle, that has a feature called Word Runner for this purpose.
Word Runner displays each word from a sentence in the middle of the screen and moves to the next word. Your eyes only have to focus on one spot on the screen instead of moving side to side or up and down.
Try reading a variety of books, both inside and outside your industry so you can cross-pollinate ideas and concepts.
Sit Back And Listen
If you are an audio learner, there are plenty of innovative podcasts available on the internet.
Many of the activities above such as TED Talks, eBooks, and how to videos can all be listened to in audio format without the watch the video. You will still gain the benefits of the information even if you can’t see the presenter.
Many people also like to use digital assistants such as Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, and OK Google to receive answers to random questions. These voice-activated devices are hooked up to an information source such as Wikipedia and other databases. So ask a question and see what answers come back, you might be surprised.
It’s Time To Take Action
Regardless of which activity you partake in, anything that is optimizing break time to challenge your brain in a creative way will be beneficial. Therefore, stand up and take a walk. Or watch videos while doodling on paper. Read a book either visually or through your ears. Make sure to do something to get those creative juices flowing.
Finally, during the last few minute of your break how about clicking one of the share buttons below and letting know others know too?