Judy Carter is an author, and motivational humorist speaker. She inspires people to use their sense of humor to transform problems into punch lines so they can decrease stress, increase profits, without gaining weight! Her article gives some suggestions of what to do on a work break.
Studies show that the brain works and learns more effectively in chunks rather than in one long stretch — so you’ll be more productive if you take frequent breaks. And if you can make yourself laugh during your breaks (that’s why I call it a humor break) — you’ll find that humor is to stress what sunshine is to a vampire. Humor tosses stress out like an angry pro wrestler hurling an opponent out of the ring.
To keep track of work time and break time, get an egg timer from a local cooking store. When you start working, set it for twenty minutes. When it rings, reset it to ten minutes and take your break. When it rings again, get back to work! (Repeat until your work is complete.)
Here are some suggestions of what to do on your break:
1. Keep a copy of some funny reading material with you, preferably something funny enough to make you laugh out loud. It should be something that’s naturally divided in to small chunks that you can finish in a break. (My personal favorite is a collection of stories from the fake newspaper, “The Onion”; the articles are short and hilarious!)
2. If you work at home, record some episodes of a TV show that makes you laugh, and don’t watch them except during your breaks. Try to pick something with PLENTY of laughs in a ten-minute span.
3. Call a friend or (if you’re in the office) visit a colleague who makes you laugh — but be sure to tell them at the start that you only have ten minutes, and when the timer rings, you’ll have to go immediately. (Otherwise, you’ll have too much fun and fall behind on your work.)
4. Don’t look for something funny online. Since the goal of your break is to REDUCE stress, I recommend getting off the computer. (Even for computer savvy people, the PC is often associated with frustration.) Plus — if you’ve been working on the computer for the last twenty minutes, it’s much more relaxing to break up that routine and move a little bit — even if that means just standing up to fetch the remote.
If you follow this recipe, you’ll be working a steady 40 minutes in every hour, and you’ll not only be less stressed — but you’ll find you accomplish a lot more!
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