One of the most significant challenges that remote working has presented is the dilemma of turning work off, even if it is just for a quick 15 minutes break to refresh and re-energize. According to a new study conducted by Sooyeol Kim, a Doctoral Student, taking smartphone ‘microbreaks’ increases productivity and helps reduce stress.
Building on this concept, here are five different ways to use your phone while taking a break to re-energize you before moving on to the next task at hand.
- Playing Games
A study conducted by TechRepublic found that most employees said they experienced positive benefits from gaming during work. 80% of in-office employees felt more relaxed, and 54% said that games alleviated the afternoon slump. Another 48% reported feelings of creativity and burnout were both positively impacted by gaming at work. More than one in five even compared gaming to coffee, saying games improved their focus, making it an excellent alternative.
Brain games such as Personal Zen have also shown tremendous potential in decreasing stress and anxiety. It is a science-based brain-training exercise created to reduce stress and anxiety within minutes and build resilience over time. However, if that isn’t something that would interest you, you can always stick to the classics: angry birds and candy crush!
2. Meditation Walk
With the advent of the pandemic, meditation has become a necessity to quiet the mind. Combining walking with your meditation has reported multiple benefits in mental and physical health. Whether walking to refill your bottle or to get a file from your shelf, you can tune into apps like Calm and Headspace that have a dedicated section for meditation walks.
Instead of letting your thoughts wander to your to-do lists or the dreaded meeting in the afternoon, this will give you a moment to delve into the present and be mindful. Research has shown that individuals who took mindful walks showed significant decreases in end-of-day stress and fatigue and better concentration at work.
3. Listen To A Short Podcast
The afternoon slump tends to cause a drop in motivation levels, and this is where a quick 5-minute podcast can significantly help change the mood and boost those dipping levels.
Thanks to the growing popularity of podcasts, there’s no shortage of high-quality content to listen to that can help you become more productive employees, effective leaders, savvier entrepreneurs, knowledgeable individuals, and generally happier human beings. Shows worth listening to include: The Tim Ferriss Show, Remotely Effective, Happier with Gretchen Rubin and The 5 AM Miracle.
4. Learning A Tiktok Dance Routine
While this seems like a rather unusual suggestion, this is an excellent way to destress and take your mind off work entirely while you get into the rhythm. Dancing causes your body to release endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and improve the ability to sleep by reducing stress.
While this is an effective method to keep you active, it also helps keep you up-to-date with trends while maintaining a healthy social life. To start, you can browse through dance tutorials on YouTube to trending TikTok’s such as Learn How To Dance and Dance with Miss Auti.
5. Create An Energizing Playlist
Music at work can contribute to relaxation by channelling your stress and negative emotions. It can also provide a mini-break from being mentally active and allow you to rest and recover by finding the perfect feel-good playlist. Depending on what you need that break to do, you can create several playlists to either relax, uplift your mood or reminisce a fond memory.
Binaural Beats and meditation music is another excellent way to destress; beats in the theta (4 to 8 Hz) range are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and aid relaxation. While binaural beats in the alpha frequencies (8 to 13 Hz) report encouraged relaxation, promoted positivity, and decreased anxiety. Playing it in the background while you work has also proven to increase productivity and concentration.
Conclusively, planning the perfect break takes effort, but the result is definitely worth the serotonin boost it offers. Cellphones just might be the key to a more productive and happier workforce!