It’s Time to Take a Break at Work


Working hard is great; your boss loves you and you know that you aren’t behind on any of Is It Time To Take a Break? your tasks. Everybody wins, right? Wrong. Overworking yourself is not good for anyone and you will likely find that your productivity and attention to detail suffers as a result.

At Rainbow Zebra we believe that there is a certain power in taking breaks which are likely more beneficial than your numerous apps and attempted life hacks to ensure you get things done. Just as doing less is more productive, taking breaks is beneficial to your working day, whether these are 5 minutes breathers or lengthier holidays. So when should you take a break and what can you do to ensure you’re making the most of it?


Why Should You Take A Break?

Avoid Boredom

Taking a break will help fight against boredom and therefore ensure you don’t lose focus when working. When your head is in the task ideas flow and you likely feel great about yourself and the job that you are getting done.

However, that flow doesn’t last forever and if you continue to stretch yourself your work will be affected as you become unfocused and zoned out. Our brains weren’t built for extended focus and all we need is a brief tea break to get us back on track.

Retain Information

Some studies have shown that the mind is able to solve some of the most complicated problems whilst daydreaming; something you may have experienced when taking a shower for example. That is because relaxation associated with daydreaming can allow the brain to return valuable insights.

Re-evaluate Goals

A break can simply allow you to take a step back and make sure that you are accomplishing the right thing in the right way. It is a practice that encourages us to stay mindful of our objectives.

4 Signs You Need a Break

You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

Did you arrive at work this morning, sit at your desk, take one peak at your to-do list and want to crawl back in to bed and cry? Well, not only does that sound like a pretty awful state of mind to be in but it also sounds like you need a break.

In this case we aren’t simply referring to a 5 minute wander around the office but a full week’s holiday somewhere which allows you to leave behind the stress of the office and relax. You’ll come back to work refreshed and ready to power through.

You’re Making Small Mistakes

Did you proofread that business report and still miss a typo, only for your boss to point it out to you? Well, we’d say it was time for a break. It is often the case that overworking causes our brains to stop paying as much attention thus resulting in small errors which you wouldn’t normally make.

Everyone can make mistakes when they are overworked, whether your get an order wrong in a restaurant or miss an obvious mistake at the office. If it’s happening regularly to you, you need to take a break from the task in hand and come back with a fresh pair of eyes.

You’re Always Tired

A well-rested worker is a happier worker, simple. If you feel the need to nap by the time it gets to 11am and start walking in a haze of exhaustion every afternoon, you’ll begin to make mistakes; both minor and potentially detrimental to the business.

A Non-Existent Social Life

If this rings true for you then you are certainly in need of stepping back from the office and revaluating your work routine. Don’t miss out on seeing family and friends, missing your children’s school events and other momentous life occasions which are the truly important things in life.

If you can, make sure you don’t work outside of the office and make sometime for yourself as well as others. And, don’t become one of those who orders dinner to the office or can’t take a 30 minute lunch break to chat to colleagues and de-stress.

A Few Productivity Inducing Activities

Take a Walk

Go for a stroll during your break. A walk as short as 20 minutes can increase blood flow to the brain where said exercise boost’s creative thought. Endorphins are released when you exercise which is what makes us feel great.

Have Something to Eat

Replenish your brain with a snack. Fish is the classic brain food rich in oil and fortified with omega 3 fatty acids. While it’s a great brain food, it’s not exactly office friendly so try a handful of nuts and seeds which are full of vitamin E and antioxidants. Among a host of productivity enhancing brain food, you could even snack on a little bit of dark chocolate which contains antioxidants slowing down cognitive decline.


Put pen to paper and let your mind wander. Did you know that research shows that doodling can stimulate new ideas and help you stay focused throughout the day? For a creative break, why not give it a go?


Exercise can make you happier and healthier and give you enough energy to regain focus. You don’t have to invest in a gym membership as there are plenty of decent 10 minute workouts and exercises to do at your desk.

Find Nature

Spend some time outside during your break and if you can, find an area which is more natural and little less urban. Spending time in nature is good for your immune system and has been shown to improve focus and relieve stress.

It’s Okay to Take a Break

Taking a break certainly isn’t about being lazy. In fact it is a scientifically proven method for regaining out focus and motivation. So stop feeling guilt at the thought of leaving your desk for 5 minutes and start recognising that taking a short break from work will allow you to get more done.

Posted by Paul Randall
1st July 2015