What we say

Give your brain a break

Mar 21, 2018

It’s a busy season here at P&G. Between onboarding clients, welcoming new team members (!), submitting award entries and staying on top of client work, we’ve been firing on all cylinders. It’s during times like these that we’re tempted to sit at our desks and pump out work, but busy doesn’t always mean productive. We recently realized we haven’t been great about prioritizing self-care, and that isn’t a good thing.

It’s time for a break. Why, you ask? Brief mental breaks can help you stay focused and give your mind the freedom to wander (which is necessary for creative work like ours!). Here are some things we’re doing to help us be our best selves. Perhaps you should try some of them as well!

  • Take a walk. We are so fortunate that our office is located in a unique neighborhood called Old Town in #LoveLansing. There are interesting shops, great local eats and even a few cool art galleries just steps away. When we need a little burst of energy and some sunshine, we often take a walk around the block. Sometimes we even get ice cream (OK, most times. Extra sprinkles, please)! Kate’s favorite spot to take a walk is a secret garden behind our office on the old railroad tracks (but that’s just between us).

  • Download an app. I once heard someone say that you should “automate what’s important.” In other words, unless you make a plan for something, it isn’t going to happen. Lucky for us, there’s an app for that! Here are a few fun ones we found:

    • Awareness is an app that sets a timer in your menu bar, counting the time you’ve been active on your computer. Once you reach a specific period of time without taking a break, the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl will play (soothing, right?), reminding you it’s time to step away for a while. If the app doesn’t detect activity on your computer after a set period of time, the timer will reset; however, if you keep working without taking a break, the next time the timer goes off, the sound of the bowl will be played twice, and so forth.

    • Stand sends a notification to your desktop every hour to remind you to get up and move around a little.

    • BreakTime fulfills the same purpose as the other two apps, but it’s better executed, and it feels like a smarter and finely built app. For example, it notifies you before your break is due, so that you can finish what you’re doing before being locked out of your screen.

  • Go out to lunch. We’ve recently started going out to lunch for team meetings a couple of times a month. Last week, we visited a local food truck that has indoor seating (because, yes, it’s still winter in Michigan) and we had a fantastic time. The change of scenery and opportunity to enjoy each other’s company in an informal setting made for an efficient and productive meeting, not to mention the amazing food!

  • Play a game. You read that correctly. We’re trying something new by playing board games during lunch once a week. Not only does it provide an often-needed distraction from a day of focused work or meetings, but it is creatively stimulating as well. Sushi Go, anyone?

  • Pet a puppy. Our office has an open-door policy for pets (no snakes) and we even keep a dog bed, water bowl and some treats on hand for when they’re around. How can you be stressed while petting a furry friend?

Simple, right? Get up, close your computer and give your brain a break. You’ll be amazed at what it does for your work life!


Tags: productivity, work smarter