Hit Reset: 5 Tips for Taking a Mental Break at Work

Finding time for yourself during the workday is just as important as meeting deadlines. If you never look up from the desk, or your assistant has to schedule bathroom breaks on your calendar, then you may need to plan a few mental diversions throughout the day. Not only does a workday without breaks drain your mental capacity, it lowers productivity.

To help keep your mind, and your employees’ minds, active and able to complete the day with just as much energy as you started with, here are five categories of mind-diverting activities you can perform every day to help you increase your productivity.

  1. Express Your Creativity
  • Doodle (1 min. – 10 min.)—Even though you’re all grown up, there’s no reason why you can’t doodle at your desk! Adult coloring books have become very popular and companies are beginning to offer them as a way to keep your mind active.
  • Origami (5 min. – 15 min.)—Known for its intricate designs and beautiful constructions, origami is a fantastic way to challenge your skills and give your mind a break from that looming deadline.


  1. Find Your Zen
  • Meditate (1 min. – 10 min.)—Find a quiet spot or close your office door and turn on some relaxing nature sounds to help reduce the chaos just beyond your desk. Deep breathing exercises can also help you meditate and refocus your energy.
  • Zen Garden (1 min. – 3 min.)—Don’t have time to get away from your desk? Try your hand at a small Zen garden. Create designs in the sand and add natural elements to the garden to help transfer energy where you need it most.


  1. Get Physical
  • Walk/Exercise (5 min. – 15 min.)—Need something a little more active than a simple diversion to clear your mind? A brisk walk will not only help meet your daily step goal, but will also boost your brain back into a more productive mode.
  • Fidget (1 min. – 2 min.)—Join in on the latest fad, fidget gadgets. They are convenient and quiet, allowing you to take a mental break without anyone ever knowing.


  1. Catch Some Z’s
  • Power Nap (10 min. – 30 min.)—If you’re someone who can sleep anywhere, a power nap might be the best reenergizer for you. During your lunch break, close your office door or go to your car to maximize your sleep session.
  • Rest Your Eyes (1 min. – 5 min.)—Turn off your computer monitor and avoid your devices and other electronic displays. Go to a window and let your eyes soak in the outdoors.


  1. Jam Out
  • Listen to Music (5 min. – 30 min.)—Stimulate the right side of your brain with your favorite music. Playing music while you work may provide just the right amount of diversion to complete your day with as much drive as you started with. Unless your entire office plans to participate with you, be sure to use headphones.
  • Play Music (5 min. – 10 min.)—Download an instrumental or synthesizer app on your phone and tap away. There are some ingenious apps that can challenge your musical mind. If you work from home, turn up the amps and really jam out. Breaking away from the norm and entertaining your musical side can get those creative juices flowing again.

Any of these daily diversions can be implemented multiple times a day. Some are better suited for your lunch break, but others can be accomplished right at your desk, every two to three hours throughout your day. If you are someone who intently focuses on a task and forgets to eat, consider adding a reminder to your phone or work calendar. Mental diversions are important to incorporate into the workday in order to stay on top of your game.

As a leader, participating in a few of these stimulating activities will encourage your employees to try a couple out on their own too. How do you keep the mental mojo maximized? Let us know in the comments below.

, , , ,

One Response to Hit Reset: 5 Tips for Taking a Mental Break at Work

  1. Tuna April 17, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    I don’t see any of these as being accepted at my work. I am thinking of taking up vaping just so I can take a “smoke break” like the smokers in my office. At least I can leave my desk and get outside without getting the side eye.

Leave a Reply