During a regular day at the office, not an hour or two goes by when I don’t wander to the kitchen for a short break or hop onto Facebook for a mindless scroll through. Short breaks from work are
beneficial, right? According to recent research that might not be the case.

When I decided that I needed to ditch my daily dilly-dallying, I put the following three productivity tips into practice and reaped the results.

1. 18 minutes to maximize your day

In his book, 18 Minutes, Peter Bregman outlines an everyday, 18-minute get-stuff-done plan. Here’s the Coles Notes version: for the first five minutes of each day (make sure these are pre-computer, pre-radio, pre-Twitter minutes), create your to-do list for the day. During your work day, set an alarm to go off once an hour, every hour. When your alarm goes off, take
one minute to reevaluate what you have done and what you’ll do during the next hour. After your workday, take five minutes to assess what went well, what didn’t and how much you got done.

Re-evaluate and do it again the next day. Productivity practice makes perfect.

2. Work hard, play hard

Skipping those small in-office breaks may actually boost your energy level. Taking a short walk, socializing, listening to music, making weekend plans or even taking a washroom break,
according to Charlotte Fritz’s research published in the Harvard Business Review, can be counterproductive.

“The only time people showed an increase in vitality (their reported energy) was after they took short breaks to do work-related things, such as praise a colleague or write a to-do
list,” Fritz explains.

3. Sit up and spread out

Now that you’ve got your day planned, this simple sit-up-straight and stretch out solution can make you feel more confident about what you are working on. According to Sian Beilock’s bookChoke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting it Right When You Have To,” postures that extend the body up and out can boost testosterone levels (in men and women), thereby boosting your brain’s confidence in the task at hand.

Simple movements such as extending your legs on a footrest, resting your arms beyond your chair’s armrests or putting your hands on your head with your elbows out tells your brain that you’re in a power position, thereby boosting productivity.


See also:

8 difficult office personalities and how to work with them

How to master the office competition and politics

How to survive your first office job


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