By Marsha Egan
September 17, 2009
Sometimes, there’s nothing more draining than a break from the office! Stepping from that comfortable climate-controlled indoor cocoon and into the summer heat can sap you of the energy you need to finish the afternoon’s work. So during the dog days of summer, how to we get out without actually getting out?
Why, take your break inside the office, of course!
By shifting focus, attention, or activity, you can stimulate the senses and get the blood flowing again. A morning in front of a single screen can leave us struggling to keep interest, no matter how much we might want to pay attention. Too much time doing the same thing, in the same place, bores the mind and sets it wandering. The trick is to give it something to wander to.
Scene change: By moving to a different location - the lunchroom, the lounge, a conference room - you change your environment and excite the senses. Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective on the same activity to ignite interest.
Fresh character: Predictability and repetition are the boon of productivity, and when you’re in an office with the same handful of characters every day, workplace dialogue might not be quite as gripping as you need it to be. Try having lunch with a different group of people, maybe a couple friends in the area or a coworker you haven’t really gotten to know. Different personalities and, ergo, different interactions, will help re-engage you with your team when you return.
Social shake-up: If your only company this morning has been the Microsoft Corporation, find a group to chat with! Even if it’s just casual chat, the excitement of socializing can be just the afternoon shake-up you need. This goes both ways, as well; a casual read of the paper can help to get your thoughts in order after an intense morning.
Get up, Get down: Sitting still for too long can put you right to sleep. Get up and take a walk around to wake up the body! If running around is all you’ve been doing, take a load off your feet and relax for a bit. Balancing out your morning energy lets you approach your afternoon ready for anything.
In short, the key here is change. Getting into a steady work rhythm is simply a matter of being aware of what’s dragging you down, and actively working to pull yourself back up. By changing your focus or environment, even for a half-hour, you can re-energize yourself and make yourself ready for the tasks ahead.
Thankfully, “getting into the mood” is more a matter of getting inside than getting out!
Marsha Egan is CEO of The Egan Group, Inc. in Reading, PA. She works with business leaders across the country to improve productivity and increase profitability. She can be reached at [email protected].