Hit Refresh:
Quick and Easy Timeouts to Keep Your Days Calm and Collected

<b>Hit Refresh:</b><br> Quick and Easy Timeouts to Keep Your Days Calm and Collected

During an 8-hour workday, it is estimated that most people are truly productive for only around 3 hours. Why is that? Humans weren’t designed for such extended, unbroken periods of laser-like focus. When you focus on something for too long, your productivity goes downhill...and fast!

This cycle affects both your personal and professional life, as “focus fatigue” can drag down your overall energy levels and general cognition. In fact, most studies show that our decision-making and overall focus begin to lose steam every 60 to 90 minutes. So, how do you stay focused without burning out? The answer is simple, purposeful breaks, and we’re providing a few classic examples of short and rejuvenating timeouts:

Work on a puzzle or simple craft.

Crafting and putting together puzzles are not only fun and engaging ways to give your brain a break from constant focus, they also improve spatial reasoning and lower your stress levels. For these breaks to be truly purposeful, you will need to seek out puzzles or crafts that offer you a challenge. It also helps to return to the same puzzle or craft, if possible, to add a small sense of purpose and progress to your breaks.  So, pull out that puzzle box, pick up those knitting needles, and let your brain focus elsewhere for a bit! 

Enjoy 5 to 15 minutes of silence or focused meditation.

Meditation involves relaxed focus on one object or thought (what some call a “mantra”) to quiet your mind and feel more connected with the world around you. For beginners, 5-15 minutes of meditation is more than enough time, and focusing on a mantra can often be a great way to shift your mind away from other concerns, either personal or professional. If you are hesitant about meditation, simply sitting in silence for 10 minutes can often trigger a decrease in stress levels and an uptick in deep, purposeful breaths.

Doodle, doodle, doodle!

Turns out, doodling isn’t just a way to waste time in the classroom. In fact, several studies have proven that doodling throughout the day can help you concentrate, spur creative insight, and combat anxiety. Much like writing in a journal, doodling is thought to help both children and adults in processing emotions and dealing with their individual stress.

Take a short walk.

Taking a walk for even 10 minutes or so can burn calories, boost your metabolism, and lower your levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. Can’t make it outside much during the day? Simply walking back and forth down the hallway, or up and down the stairs, can get you out of your seat and kickstart your energy levels. Who knew putting one foot in front of the other could be so powerful?


Don’t let your day feel discombobulated! Use these quick and easy timeouts to keep your days calm and your nights peaceful. For some break-focused inspiration, read over our 5 easy steps to self-love and self-care in 2020!