Why are we here
It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. You’ve been in the zone for hours on end working on that big project. You’re out of energy, you’re eyes are starting to cross, and it feels like your brain has been replaced with a pet rock. Sound familiar?
Today we’re going to talk about why the world needs to take more breaks and how what you do during this breaks could make your day even better.
Why we need breaks
- Breaks are much more than the 15 minute coffee break.
- Break help prevent burnout
- Breaks help prevent boredom
- Breaks help us reset focus and retain focus
- Provides an opportunity to get your endorphins pumping with some movement/exercise
- Several methods and techniques out there to accomplish this, however, the one Shaun and I are going to chat about and personally try is the Pomodoro Technique… because we both like pasta. Wait for it.
“The Pomodoro Technique was invented in the early 90s by developer, entrepreneur, and author Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo named the system “Pomodoro” after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his work as a university student. The methodology is simple: When faced with any large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called “Pomodoros”) that are spaced out by short breaks. This trains your brain to focus for short periods and helps you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration .” -Lifehacker.com
At its most basic level:
- Determine what you want to focus on
- Set your timer
- 25 minutes is the default Pomorodoro, but choose what works for you. Could be 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.
- Do work
- Take a break
- Starting with something as small as 5 minutes still provides benefits!
- Every four rounds, take a longer break (15-30 minutes)
Tips for success with Pomodoro
- Each iteration or Pomodoro should be focussed on one unit of work.
- Manage those distractions! Either end the Pomodoro or end the distraction
- Use a timer! Don’t try and watch the clock.
How to level-up your breaks – Hint, it’s Cats!
Being intentional with your breaks is the first step, but choosing what you do during those breaks can benefit you even more!
- Cats, cats, and more cats.
- Endorphins are your best friend!
- Get moving!
- Go for a walk
- Do a quick round of pushups or air squats
- Use a standing desk
- Here’s an awesome episode from an awesome podcast that covers more about this.
- Keep your hands and mind active
- Although they were a fad, Fidget Spinners have a good intention of engaging your mind and improving thought.
- Lots of engaging toys, tools, you can find online in the fidget category
- Make the break real – taking a ten second break of clenching your fist is not a break!
Kallweit Call to Action
Try out the Pomodoro technique for a week. Be intentional with how you manage your distractions. Whatever you do, use a timer. A timer on your phone will work just fine but you may find a physical timer or Pomodoro specific app works better for you. I’ll be trying some of these out and posting about my experience on all the socials!