Productivity Tip: Bring Back the Coffee Break

Improve your day, be more productive and feel better by indulging in a short daily break – no matter how busy you are

Credit: Flickr / lafruu

Take time to dream when you stop your busy life for a coffee break

Are we making ourselves more stressed by never taking breaks to relax? It’s time to bring back the coffee break

A new survey says Canadians have less free time than even five years ago. Technology, life coaches and consultants say, part of the reason is that even when we don’t have to, we’re busy checking our phones, sending out texts and updating our status.

While workplaces are demanding, much of the stress we’re currently under, they suggest, is self-derived. If we’d only take breaks instead of continually plugging in, we might find we have more time than we think.

Give Yourself a Short Technology Break – Every Day

Breaks for relaxation from technology’s demands don’t just happen, however. That’s why it’s a great idea to plan unplugged time with enjoyable everyday rituals like the one I recommend: coffee and croissants at a local café.
Before you start harrumphing about how you don’t have time, consider that taking a short break can actually improve productivity once you get back to work.

Sure, you’re “too busy” to step away from the screen for a lunch break, or fit in a quick walk outside when afternoon’s slump hits. But building mini-breaks like coffee and a croissant into your day can energize and recharge you, making you that much more efficient.

How to Justify Your Coffee Break

If you really can’t justify a break in your day, here’s a little help. A coffee break will allow you to:

  • Get a head start on your day. You’ll have a chance to think about what you’d like to accomplish without the constant distractions of email, the phone and your computer. Then write it down.
  • Deal with your paperwork. Tote along your unopened mail, chequebook, stamps and a pen to make bill-paying a pleasant ritual rather than computerized drudgery. Write a love letter. Buy a paper instead of surfing the usual news sites.
  • Make it family time. Most Canadian survey respondents say they’d choose to spend more time with their family if they could. Bonus: a before-school stop at a nice place for coffee and croissants is cheaper and more manageable than a full-on meal with tots, but still helps you instill restaurant manners.
  • Take time to dream. Sitting in a café watching the world go by allows you to think and plan. While your mind drifts, you’re more apt to be creative and receptive to new ideas.