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10 Ways To Change The World In Just A Couple Of Minutes

10 Ways To Change The World In Just A Couple Of Minutes

As much as most of us would like to make an impact on the world, it often sounds like it would take a lot of our time. It’s not that we’re not willing to put that time in, we just don’t have time to spare. Well, The Shop For Change have shared 10 ways you can change the world in your lunch break with us:

From little things, big things grow. Sound familiar? We’ve compiled a list of 10 small deeds you could do to make a difference in 60 minutes. Sometimes it only takes one step to start a chain reaction, spread an idea or stimulate a thought. Why not see if you can tick a few off our list, or think of your own ways to make a little or possibly big difference.

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    1. Share an educational video or article
    Make the most of those social media sites and share that TED talk you watched on foreign aid last night, or the article you read that got your social conscious ticking.

    2. Avoid plastic
    Don’t buy a pre-packed lunch with seven layers of unnecessary plastic, in a plastic bag that you eat with a plastic fork. When you buy your sushi tomorrow, say no to the plastic container and soy sauce fish – go for a paper bag and apply soy in-store! Easy as.

    3. Organise a blood drive
    Get your office, school or friends on board for a group blood run. It’s easy to register and let’s face it, everything is more fun in a group! Get the ball rolling here.

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    4. Buy a goat!
    Or a chicken, or a pig! World Vision makes once off donations in the shape of an animal or fruit tree a simple and extremely worthwhile action. Check out World Vision and see how easy it is! World Vision also has long-term donation services such as sponsoring a child and assisting in the development of disadvantaged communities.

    5. Pick up litter
    Hey, next time just bend down and pick up that plastic bag instead of walking over it. Takes all of 30 seconds… imagine the possibilities in a whole lunch break. Make it your goal to pick up a piece of litter every day and involve your company or school in the next Clean Up Australia Day

    6. Donate or assist in a local community project
    Do a quick Google search on what is happening around you, in your neighborhood or area. Show your support by offering a donation or your time to a great local project that is happening right under your nose. Being local you will also be able to watch as the project develops!

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    7. Give a $25 micro loan to a stranger
    Kiva is a company that connects people with small business owners in 3rd world countries. With $25 going towards getting a small business idea off the ground, this program provides people with the opportunity to become self sufficient. That’s a pretty rewarding investment for a mere $25!

    8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
    You’ve all heard it done before, volunteering at your local soup kitchen is one of the easiest ways to help your community. One lunch break a week? It could be more revitalising than you think.

    9. Buy local fruit and vegetables
    Planning on cooking tonight? Hit the local grocer on your way home and bypass the corporate chain. Supporting your local businesses in every way possible is important for our economy, not to mention the produce is fresher and tastes amazing!

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    10. Buy yourself a present from the Shop for Change!
    Did you work extra hard today? Or feel like surprising someone with a little gift? Jump onto our website and have a browse. Something small or something big – everything from The Shop for Change is going towards helping women, men and children in developing countries to become self sufficient or to have access to basic needs.

    10 Ways To Change The World In Your Lunch Break | The Shop For Change

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    Siobhan Harmer

    Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on April 19, 2021

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

    Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

    The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

    Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

    In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

    When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

    Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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    1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

    When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

    As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

    That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

    The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

    What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

    Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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    There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

    So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

    2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

    When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

    No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

    3. Move Your Body

    A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

    It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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    So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

    4. Connect With Another Person

    Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

    One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

    Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

    5. Use Your Imagination

    When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

    That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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    And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

    Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

    Final Thoughts

    Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

    Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

    More on the Importance of Taking a Break

    Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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