Thursday, November 5, 2015

It Only Takes Five Minutes (Or Less)

by Judy

To say that I've been swamped at work lately is a huge understatement.  I've been going in early, working through lunch, and leaving late - for weeks.  I am exhausted, and even though I was still working hard today, I had a rare opportunity to work from home.  

The entire time I was poring over paperwork, entering data on my computer, and making phone calls, I was acutely aware that on this November day in New York it was sunny and 75 degrees. (For those of you not familiar with fall in my area of New York - the average temperature at the beginning of November is usually 55 degrees.)  To say that it was difficult to concentrate on work knowing that it was such a gorgeous fall day is another huge understatement, but I kept thinking 'if I just keep plugging away at this I'll get it done.'  

After going back and forth many times with these thoughts I finally stepped away from my computer, grabbed my camera, and stepped into my back lawn.  During my five minute break I was able to capture the magic of the afternoon light...

And the beauty of summer fading....

The whimsical...

And my colorful surroundings.  

It was a five minute break, such a short amount of time, but I went back to my computer feeling refreshed and ready to work, and oh so grateful for the simple little things in life. I could see that 
a little distraction was good for my brain, and even that short break helped to improve my focus, and made me feel more alert. 

Being a Human Resource Manager, and interested in anything about the work day, employees, and productivity, I searched online to find out some interesting information about the importance of taking short breaks throughout the work day.

  • Short breaks, such as the five minute break I took, are called 'micro-breaks.'
  • Taking regular breaks of just 2 minutes increases productivity 11.15%.  
  • Just one short break improves mental acuity by an average of 13%.
  • A 15 second break taken every 10 minutes reduces fatigue by 50%.
  • Taking a 5 minute break every hour eliminates hand and wrist pain. 
  • A 6 minute break should be taken at least every 80 minutes.  **

We can see that refreshing and renewing ourselves throughout the day doesn't take a lot of time. We're all busy, but let us not forget that even a little self love goes a long, long way.  Take care of yourself today and see what a five minute break will do for you.

** Info from the website.


Cathy H. said...

Your five minute break was well spent!! Lovely images! Taking your camera for the break was a fantastic idea. Even though I don't work outside the home, I find myself forgetting to just take a break and relax.

Dotti said...

Cathy is right! Your brief time was well spent! Your photos are beautiful but more important is how it refueled your energy, allowing g you to be more effective I your work.

terriporter said...

Well, you sure made the most of that break! The birdhouse shot is absolutely wonderful! Taking some time for yourself can really reenergize you. We just have to remember to do it!

Carol said...

I don't usually remember to do it, sadly. Like you initially, I always feel that if I just keep pushing through, I will get done and have time to get outdoors. And guess what? I get home and collapse, and NEVER getvoutside. I like your method better! OK - time to take a lesson from fall and " turn over a new leaf!" Thank u!

Anonymous said...

It never ceases to amaze me how even short (micro) breaks with or without a camera can change a mood and improve a person's day! You're a great example of a positive habit to cultivate. I find that I am always refreshed when I make time to be -- with my camera. I love the beauty of autumn that you captured. And hasn't the weather been incredible?

Marilyn said...

lovely fall images.

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