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5 Minute Refreshers (For Those Who Need to Reboot)

5 Minute Refreshers (For Those Who Need to Reboot)
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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

                      NineSmartProductivityHacksTeachersThumbnail 9 Smart Productivity Hacks for Teachers (Infographic) Office desktop computer with mug and glasses 5 Minute Refreshers (For Those Who Need to Reboot)

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                      Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

                      More on Building Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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