The other day I needed to take some time to clear my mind in the middle of the day. So, I through on some shoes and took my dogs for a 30-minute walk. I left my phone at home and simply enjoyed the nice weather and let my mind wander.
I couldn’t help but think about how thankful I am to have this flexibility. While I could have taken a break and a walk at my previous job, it was not widely accepted. Now, I see it as a necessity to my productivity.
Getting fresh air can give you fresh perspectives. Allowing yourself to step away from your computer and give your mind a break can be one of the best ways to avoid burn out and actually boost performance.
When I returned from my walk, I was more energized and refocused. If I had continued to sit and trudge through my work, I would have likely taken twice as long to complete my tasks and been in a funk the rest of the day. I like to listen to my body and mind. It is one of the things that makes the most sense to me. I just wish more people would accept this flexibility in the workplace.
If there could be more trust among employers that if they let their employees have a more fluid schedule, I can almost guarantee they would see an increase in performance and productivity. We are not meant to work 8-12 hours a day straight. In fact, those who claim to be doing so are very likely lying. They are probably wasting more time just zoning out at their desk than those who can leave freely. However, people are rewarded for “working” these long days and never leaving the office.
So, I encourage everyone to take time each day to clear your mind. Actually get out of the office and take a break. If your employer will not allow this then work it in before or after work. Unplug and reset yourself. We all need time to re-energize. Don’t let the daily grind burn you out and don’t fool yourself into thinking that these breaks are a waste of time, because they are very likely exactly what you need.