How to power up your productivity and work on your wellbeing, all in one easy trick, writes Simon Hall.
This lovely trick is always worth practising, but has become absolutely critical in lockdown.
I'm surprised more people don't use it, given how it's great for both mind and body.
One of the great problems of lockdown is the lack of variety.
For most of us there's much less in the way of travelling for work, being in the office or classroom, going out to see your friends, browsing the shops, a coffee in a cafe, the odd pub or restaurant visit...
Instead, it's home, home and more home.
But breaking that routine, even in the smallest of ways, can really help us survive these difficult days.
Without the stimulus of all the variety we're used to, many of us tend to sit at the same desk at home, and work, work, work...
Which means your productivity just falls and falls over the hours.
Your mind and body get tired and bored, and everything becomes a painful grind with not much of any use to show for it.
The longer you sit there and try to keep going, the less you actually achieve.
However! If you build in breaks every 45 minutes or so, your productivity falls then rises again, falls then rises, like a washing line held up by props.
Not only do you achieve more for less actual effort, but you feel better physically as well for getting up and getting away from your desk.
The great thing is that those breaks only have to be a few minutes to do the job.
You can step outside and have a stroll around, breathe deeply, unwind and think.
You could pop to the shops, put together some food for later, take a quick cycle ride, do some stretches on the floor, even mundane things like changing the bed or cleaning the bathroom.
So long as you get up, get your body moving, and give your mind a break, it's effective.
This all makes for a much wiser way of working.
And I highly recommend it.
I'm a tutor, lecturer and coach in Communications and Business Skills at the University of Cambridge. I also run my own media, public relations and design consultancy, Creative Warehouse, work in government, and across the private and public sectors.
I can offer communications support in all areas, including:
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