Increase Mindfulness and Productivity by Taking Breaks While Working
“The journey is as important as the destination” says Mia Bühler with a smile. As a full-time travel blogger, she is well-qualified to talk on this topic and for her, getting away from her desk is a crucial part of her active lifestyle. But Mia and her partner Thies are not just travel bloggers, they are also young parents, running their own small agency and juggling a busy schedule with the needs of their small son.
As Mia says, “For my work, I not only need a clear head but also creativity and inspiration. There are times when I long for new smells, colors, faces and for foreign words. But I’m often also overcome by the urge to get away during a totally normal day as well.”
Mia’s description of her working life will ring bells for many of us: “For most of us, stress is just an everyday part of our work. Having our own agency is fun, but the workload can sometimes be overwhelming. After the birth of my son, I now need to accomplish more in less time, I often feel pushed to my limits. There are so many distractions during the day that by evening, I feel my to-do list is expanding rather than shrinking”.
In order to combat the feeling that “continuous sharpness wears out the blade”, Mia shares her top strategies with us. Even if you are working from home right now, her help you stay focused.
Sometimes you need to focus on a particular task for a long period of time. In order to achieve this, all potentially distracting factors should be minimized. I switch my smartphone to flight mode for about 1–2 hours and find a suitable playlist so I can tune in and drop out. I also close my email inbox during this time so that I can’t be distracted by email pop-ups and I make sure to let colleagues or clients know that I’m doing this. Often they’ll join in too.
Downtime During the Working Day
Just as focused work is important, so are the short breaks between tasks. Getting away from your desk lets us give our minds a rest, so that we can start afresh afterwards. I use this downtime for a change of scenery, conversations, social media, and above all, to do nothing for a short period, to enjoy my coffee and to lose myself for a moment, even if it’s in another room of my home.
Context and a Change of Scenery
In order to start fresh and redirect my thoughts to a new task, I enjoy working remotely in different workplaces where I can get new stimuli and inspiration. My favorites are local cafes (I’m always keen to try new ones), bookstores, or the train, preferably en route to my chosen destination and where I can enjoy a well-earned reward afterwards. Although this is not possible right now, you can set it as a revitalizing goal to apply in the future.