Time-management experts often tell us to take short breaks throughout the day. It’s advice I find easy to agree with but hard to put into practice, at least regularly, because I don’t remember, or I just wasted time checking email and don’t see how I can justify it, or I’m not really sure what I should be working on now, anyway.
Yesterday around 4:00 pm I realized I had a serious case of work doldrums — it was a sunny day, and I hadn’t gotten much accomplished, and though I knew I was in no danger of, say, blowing a deadline because of it, I couldn’t bring myself to give up… and yet I couldn’t focus. Usually what I do in such times is take care of some small, domestic errand like folding laundry or doing the dishes, which is generally enough to kick me back into action at work. Instead, I took a short walk.
Lo and behold! It was glorious, and I felt great on my return, and though I was initially tempted to grab a book and relax on the sofa, I sat down on my desk and enjoyed a compact, productive next hour.