Ensuring you’re taking an adequate amount of work breaks is a difficult feat when you’re freelancing. They need to be long enough, but not run over, and substantial enough to benefit your productivity levels. You may even feel bad for considering having five minutes to yourself in the first place. After all, you’re fulfilling a role which you love from the comfort of your home, and you don’t want to take liberties.
Yet, taking breaks throughout your working day is fundamental to your success. Not only does it keep your productivity levels in check, but it also provides you with a functional structure whilst simultaneously preventing your wellbeing from taking damage.
Some freelancers are prepared to risk burning out — both physically and mentally — due to fear of failure. It’s fundamental for your own sake that you’re aware of your capability and the loads which you’re agreeing to, before fully committing to additional projects or new clients.
Take More Time Out
When working freelance, it’s important that you have breaks in place that allow you to get up and walk away from your workstation. Whether it’s a coffee table and a sofa or a physical desk which you’re leaving behind, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are physically leaving what you consider to be a productive area, to have some time-out.
See below for our innovative line-up of break solutions to help you restore energy, cleanse headspace and temporarily detach yourself from work-stresses. There’s more to them than just putting the kettle on.
So for this exercise you’re still seated in a chair, but we recommend that you pick up your office chair and take it into another space, or simply choose a seat in another room.
Chair yoga has been cited as an alternative option to standard yoga, and is a simple yet effective tool used to shred stress, improve wellbeing and develop better breathing habits.
It’s also super easy to set up — you needn’t worry about losing time from finding a gym mat or changing into workout wear. It also doesn’t require heaps of prior knowledge of yoga experience to carry out, and benefit from the effects.
We recommend the following basic poses to improve your inhalation technique, as well as blood circulation and posture: Chair Forward Bend – Uttanasana, Chair Extended Side Angle – Utthita Parsvakonasana and the Chair Spinal Twist – Ardha Matsyendrasana.
Nip to your local grocers for some brain-boosting snacks
Avoid fuelling your creative temple with sugary energy drinks, lethargic carbs and junk food — it will only inevitably lead to unproductiveness down the line or an almighty caffeine crash.
Instead, feed your brain with smart-snacks such as avocado on toast — millennials, you’re in luck — apples-and-peanut-butter, and good-old bananas. If you haven’t any brain food in at the time and there’s a convenience store nearby, then even better. Nip out, soak up some fresh air and bring back the goods.
Step outside and call a friend or family member
Spend your breaks by chatting and laughing with someone who you care about. This will help to lift your spirits, give you the encouragement you need to keep tapping away at your projects, and also provide you with some much-needed human interaction.
It’s good to keep the chats light-hearted and non work-related but if you do need to vent, then that’s also okay too. However, if you’ve a load to get off your chest, but are conscious of burdening your bestie, then vent some steam into the cyber-world.
Power-walk to Your Nearest Park or Green Space
Raising your heart-rate and basking in “views for days” are both great mental and physical stimulants. Combining the two together can drastically improve wellbeing and concurrently spark creativity.
If you’ve no nearby parks or scenic spots, then why not go into another room and throw on David Attenborough’s Planet Earth? Undoubtedly, this does mean committing to more screen-time, but if the psychological benefits are there, then why wouldn’t you want to watch an adorable, three-toed sloth, swim?
A collaborative study between the BBC and makers of Planet Earth II have uncovered that from by simply watching nature documentaries, viewers can significantly improve happiness levels, whilst reducing stress and anxiety symptoms.
How do you ensure you take enough breaks whilst working remotely? Comment below to with your own experiences.