Take a Break

Last Friday I promised to post a tip of the day on LinkedIn Monday and I didn’t do it. That’s the reason this tip exists.

As a remote worker it’s important to ensure you the breaks. Remote work provides some flexibility on the timing of breaks, maybe it’s starting work a bit later, maybe a break or two during the day, maybe giving yourself an early minute or two. But when working remotely it’s easy to get caught up with work and forget about your personal life.

In the office we will often have what I consider to be micro-breaks throughout the day. Many of us will get to the office and have a chat with coworkers about the weekend or the previous night; we’ll walk to the kitchen to get a drink, say hi to some people as we walk past them and then get a couple of minutes waiting for the kettle or coffee machine. When we’re working remotely we don’t get these opportunities. I’ve mentioned previously that we miss out on the break between meetings when remote working, but we also miss out on the micro-breaks we take while performing our job.

One of the benefits of working remotely is that we can take breaks when we need them and can work more effectively when we have the right mind-set, but it’s also possible to fall into the trap of working well beyond what is expected or reasonable.

# My Experience So Far

At this point in my life I am very career focussed; I spend “personal” time on LinkedIn and writing for my blog, I often take online courses and read books that are related to my work. Over time this takes its toll and sometimes I need to take a break. This is what happened on Monday, I felt too low on energy, so I took a break, on Tuesday I felt significantly refreshed and was able to focus on my work and then get back to my normal “personal” time last night.

I’ve found that when working from home I often rely on workload to dictate how often I take breaks. I know this is not sustainable, but so far I’ve been quite lucky in that my work has ebbed and flowed and allowed me to maintain a good balance. As I get older I am becoming more conscious of the need to ensure I have adequate recovery time, be that from a video call, or from the day’s work, I am finding it is more important to maintain the balance over a shorter period of time.