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5 Minute Refreshers (For Those Who Need to Reboot)

5 Minute Refreshers (For Those Who Need to Reboot)

When you normally think of the word “refresh” a number of things might come to mind, as in refreshing a webpage, drinking a glass of orange juice, or stepping outside for some air. As each of us go throughout our day, we’re faced with many propositions, decisions, and even obstacles that sometimes twist us up so much that we just need…to…breathe.

With that being said, refreshers are never meant to be complete shutdowns (like turning off your computer), they’re intended for brief pauses in our busy schedules to help us return to a calmer state and be more productive at work. Here are ten 5 minute refreshers that you can try today:

1. Meditate to clear your mind and refocus.

Man Sitting

    Something that I’ve recently tried is meditating during which I just close my eyes and focus on my breathing while trying to keep my mind clear. When you find yourself needing to refocus, take 5 minutes to close your eyes and clear your mind. Focus on your breathing and even try taking in one great breath and then expelling the air from your lungs 3 times. Try this refresher when you need to refocus.

    2. Have a sip of your favorite tea.

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    PreparingTea

      Any kind of tea that suits your fancy! Personally, I find jasmine green tea to be soothing and energizing. Certain teas can provide clarity, stress relief, be helpful for losing weight, energy, and digestion. Try this package deal for a brief boost in the afternoons.

      3. Read inspirational or motivational messages.

        Reading inspirational or motivational messages are especially helpful when you find yourself feeling low, overwhelmed, or out of sync. You can download a mobile app to read scriptures, check a website for famous quotes, or even complete daily or weekly guidance plans– any of these options are helpful. You might even stumble upon motivational messages from individuals who have experienced, or are experiencing, similar situations as yourself. As always, as long as there is life, there is hope and a chance to learn and grow. Spend 5 minutes reading an inspirational or motivational message for encouragement.

        4. Go for a brisk walk.

          Walking it out can help, especially with a change in scenery and fresh air. Fill in 5 minutes on your online calendar for a brisk walk by taking the long way around your office building or stepping outside for a brief stroll down the street. Exercising helps to release the hormone serotonin that contributes to our happiness. You might even consider jogging, but just a little movement can help to shift the mental weight from your brain.

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          5. Talk it out with a friend, family member, or colleague.

            It can be amazing sometimes what talking to a friend, family member, or colleague can do. Socializing is important, and when we have many issues flooding our brains, sometimes to the point of overwhelm, we often need to talk to someone. If you have a close friend or colleague in your office, you might consider stopping by to check on them and see how they are doing. Reversing the point-of-view can help to lighten your mood and steer your mind away from negative feelings. Even a few text messages with that special someone may help to brighten your day.

            6. Add glee with some Vitamin C.

              Have you had your glass of OJ today? Vitamin C is vital and important to our bodies for immunity, concentration, and improving our mood. Surprisingly, you might also find yourself feeling refreshed, more focused, and ready to be more productive at work by having a glass of a fruit drink like grapefruit juice, grape juice, apple juice, or even by taking this vitamin in supplement form. Also, try out these meals for lunch instead of the old ham sandwich and soup.

              7. Go on a brief ride.

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                Getting away from the office or your desk while on break might be the refresher you need–just don’t leave and not come back! Consider a 5 minute ride away from the office, and if you’re in a scenic area, you might be able to take in different sights and sounds. With spring approaching us, this is one of the best times to take a ride around the block with trees, flowers, and shrubbery beginning to bloom.

                8. Tell your colleagues “Game on!”

                  Ping pong, darts, or a bean toss throwing contest anyone? Get your game on for 5 minutes to refresh yourself so that you can be more productive at work afterwards. If a colleague is also on break, challenge them to a round and double up with conversation. During the day, we all need several moments to chill and regroup. Plus, you’ll also boost those serotonin levels by stepping up your activity!

                  9. Try a change of environment.

                    Don’t literally move your desk or chair, but temporarily migrate to a different location. If you’re seeking peace and quiet, consider a break-room that’s typically empty or a quiet lounge. If you’re looking for entertainment to help take your mind off of your situation, head for a more lively area such as a dining area, basketball court, tennis court, or park where you could find someone to chat with.

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                    10. Sing to lighten your spirit.

                      Exercise your vocal cords to a favorite song to help shift the mental weight. Even if you’re not the best singer or someone who’s just signed a record deal, you can still use your voice for comfort and happiness. Anyone can become a better singer– all you need to do is practice, and what better way to find a harmony than by practicing for 5 minutes?

                      And there you have it–ten 5 minute refreshers for your midday recharge! Stay productive, but don’t wear yourself too thin. If your monitor needs a break by shutting off its screen every now and then, then you know that we need breaks too. So instead of shutting yourself down or quitting completely, try one of these tips to reboot and get back in sync.

                      Featured photo credit: VisualHunt via visualhunt.com

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                      Jalesa Campbell

                      All-Star Generalist

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                      Last Updated on March 23, 2021

                      Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                      Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                      One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

                      The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

                      You need more than time management. You need energy management

                      1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

                      How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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                      I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

                      I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

                      2. Determine your “peak hours”

                      Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

                      Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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                      My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

                      In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

                      Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

                      3. Block those high-energy hours

                      Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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                      Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

                      If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

                      That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

                      There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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                      Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

                      Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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