Get up from your computer: 15 fun things to do during a work break

Get up from your computer: 15 fun things to do during a work break

Whether you’re working in an office or remotely, staring at a computer screen or sitting in back-to-back meetings can start to wear on even the most dedicated employee. Everyone needs to step away from the workload and reenergize. Not doing so can lead to fatigue and eventually less productivity. And much less worker satisfaction. Companies need to be tolerant and even encourage some regular work breaks so that workers can be clear-headed and rested throughout the day.

So what are the best ways to take a break? Here are some fun and creative ways to do just that.

  1. Leave your workspace—your computer, desk and chair
    Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to clear your head. Get up out of your chair, walk away from the computer and the cube or office it’s in. Walk around the building, get a snack, anything to remove you from your workspace.
  2. Get outside—boost your vitamin D
    Weather permitting, a trip outside to breath in some non-office air can be extremely refreshing. Get in the sun and allow the Vitamin D to soak in. Vitamin D is associated with brain health, reducing depression and much more.
  3. Clean House
    If you work in an office, this might be your desk or cube space. If you work from home this might be your entire office and surroundings. But if you’ve let papers pile up and food trash hang around, a thorough cleaning can be energizing. Get your pens together, put away trash and unnecessary items. Maybe find new inspirational messages to hang around. An excellent reboot for your workspace and clears the mind too!
  4. Put your head down and do nothing
    This is the exact opposite of the suggestions above. This doesn’t mean sleep. Sleep in the afternoon can be refreshing but it can also make you groggier than before. But closing your door (if you can) or putting out the “Do Not Disturb” sign followed by 10-15 minutes of just closing your eyes and breathing can do wonders.
  5. Check In with a Family Member
    Take a break and phone home. Call your spouse, children, parents, siblings or whoever you might want to touch base with. Relate some funny stories or share some fond memories. Getting your mind off work for a bit will help ease the stress and make the day go faster.
  6. Read a Book
    This may not seem like much of a break if you spend the day reading. But keeping a non-work book at the office can help you escape for a few minutes by reading. Some science fiction, fantasy, humor will help you decompress for a few minutes and relax.
  7. Find some funny
    Maybe you can’t get physically away from your computer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t destress and relax. Check out The Oatmeal for some comic relief.
  8. Boost your brain power
    There are millions of online games out there, but will any actually make you smarter? Check out Lumosity. This game is scientifically formulated to increase brain power which has been known to lead to feeling younger!
  9. Get the Office Involved
    If you need a break, chances are someone else in your office does too. Send an email to 10 co-workers and ask them to “reply all” with their best joke. Winner gets coffee on you.
  10. Look for Inspiration
    If you can’t find motivation at work, try going and finding it. Ted Talks are an amazing way to see how everyday people have transformed their lives with some amazing feat or some deed impossibly small. Learn that there’s nothing you can’t do!
  11. Do some writing
    Yes, everyone says they can’t write. Except for the ones calling themselves a writer. This writing may never see daylight but it’s worth it if it clears your head and gets some problem in a better light.
  12. Change Your Passwords
    This may sound more anxiety producing than anxiety reducing. But it’s important to change your passwords on a regular basis. It is best for your computer’s security and it will help you maybe weed out some apps and websites you don’t need.
  13. Do some Career Building
    You may be perfectly happy at your job but things can change. Update your LinkedIn profile. Give some colleagues recommendations while you’re there. Follow some influencers in your chosen or desired profession.
  14. Clean Up your Inbox
    Most people innocently sign up for subscriptions to companies when they buy products. Before they know it, their inbox is crammed full of unnecessary notes. Keep that in check by unsubscribing to at least 10 sources. Then you and your inbox will feel they had input.
  15. Office Chair Race
    This is a hotly contested race form. Possibly requires approval from management or HR to consider liability issues. But the name says it all about how fun it could be!

If these ideas didn’t spark some interest, hopefully they did juice up the imagination about other ways you can unplug, relax and destress at work. It really is critical to performance and overall health. Enjoy!