Do You Schedule Breaks to Increase Your Productivity at Work?

schedule breaks to increase your productivity at workWe recently discussed taking breaks at work: how long we work between breaks, if or how long we leave our workspaces on our breaks, what we do during them, and so on. While we’ve had many posts about productivity, including how to keep track of work to-dos, how to focus on work when other things are on your mind, and the best Spotify playlists to help you focus, we haven’t talked a lot about taking breaks throughout the day. Can you schedule when you take breaks at work? If so, do you tend to take a break at the same time every day? Do you schedule breaks on your calendar as appointments so that others know you are unavailable?

Even though breaks were allowed and even encouraged at most full- and part-time jobs I’ve held, I still wouldn’t stop to take my first “break” until 1 p.m. or later. Even then, it might’ve only been break time because I didn’t want to miss out on the last call for the office cafeteria salad bar at 2 p.m. I did, however, almost always take 45 minutes for lunch when I could. I would make it a point to take a long walk, read a book, or meet up with a friend.

We realize that for some of our readers’ high-demand jobs, it’s just not possible to take breaks, at least not frequently. For instance, as a trial attorney, on my docket days or days with back-to-back-to-back client meetings, or when I had trial prep, breaks weren’t always an option. I would often eat lunch at my desk, if I had time to eat at all, and I was lucky if I could get a few minutes to check my personal texts or emails.

Here are some tips we hope you find helpful when it comes trying to schedule breaks to increase your productivity at work:

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5 Super Slow and 5 Super Fast Recipes For Long Workdays

all day crockpot recipesIf one of your holiday gifts last year was a new pressure cooker or slow cooker (Instant Pot included), or if you just haven’t been getting enough mileage out of either or both of these kitchen appliances, we thought we’d round up some recipes for inspiration. Here are five all day crockpot recipes and five super fast Instant Pot recipes we’re interested in trying — slow for the long workdays, and fast when you want to make something quick (15 minutes or less) when you get home from work and can’t deal with another meal from Seamless or the freezer. Do you have a new pressure cooker or slow cooker that you’ve been trying out? What are your favorite sources of recipes (or recipes!) for them? Do you have any go-to fast or slow meals?

Psst: We’ve also talked about slow cooker recipes for working women, shared Instant Pot tips, and discussed the best cookware and kitchen appliances — and Kat’s shared some of her easy weeknight dinners in the past as well. 

Here are some workday-friendly recipes to try in your slow cooker or pressure cooker:

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Seven of the Absolute Best Places to Get Cute Office Decor

Where are the best places to get cute office decor, ladies? Whether you’ve got a small Secret Santa gift to buy for a coworker, you’re on the hunt for stocking stuffers for a loved one, or you’re thinking of sprucing up your own office (perhaps during the quiet office around the holidays), now is a great time to take a look at all the practical but cute office decor out right now — so we rounded some of it up for you!

Psst: We’ve previously discussed when to use cute office supplies, affordable and easy office decor ideas, and how to repurpose office supplies in MacGuyver-like ways.

Here are seven of our favorite places to get cute office decor — which are yours?

 

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Co-Dependent or Budget Savvy: Family Cell Phone Plans, Shared Passwords, Help with the Rent, and Definitions of Adulting

adulting and family cell phone plansWe were talking recently in the Corporette Slack channel about people we knew who were still on the family cell phone plan as an adult — and considering we’ve seen so many news stories about different levels of this kind of co-dependence, from sharing passwords with family members to getting help with your rent, we thought it would be fun to have a bigger discussion about it here at Corporette. Thank you to Rebecca Berfanger for writing this for us — I can’t wait to hear everyone’s thoughts on this topic! – Kat.

Readers, have you ever thought about whether you are independent–or co-dependent–when it comes to your expenses? Is part of your view of “adulting” to be 100% totally financially independent — or do you think it’s budget savvy to share passwords and family cell phone plans? Where is the line in your mind? If you’ve discussed this intimately with friends or partners, do you think you’re normal or on one end of the continuum? Do your parents or other friends or family members still financially support you in some way (mortgage, bills, transportation, housing) or do you always pay your own way? If you’re in a relationship, do you share a bank account? Are there some things you don’t mind sharing, like a family cell phone plan or passwords for your favorite source of entertainment?

In the first episode of Girls, Lena Dunham’s Hannah Horvath asks her parents for money so she can continue to live in her Brooklyn apartment. Sure, New York is very expensive, but it’s a good place for a writer to live so she can network and land a decent job in her field. Fair enough. Yet even though she seems to have a decent job, it is an unpaid internship with no guarantee of advancement. Depending on your personal situation, that conversation was relatable, cringe-inducing, or possibly both.

Here are few questions to consider:

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How to Deal with Extreme Coworkers

how to deal with extreme coworkersReaders, what’s your best advice for how to deal with extreme coworkers? We’ve talked about what to do when your boss has it out for you, as well as difficult coworkers who throw temper tantrums, but not in a while — so I asked lawyer/journalist Rebecca Berfanger to offer some advice… – Kat

Have you ever had a coworker or a supervisor who took things to the extreme at work? Maybe she screamed often or threw things, maybe she bragged about how she gave up sleep in order to put in longer hours, maybe she worked every holiday and weekend, or maybe she never took any breaks, not even to leave her desk or eat? Maybe she survived only on lattes? Did this coworker or boss expect you to be equally extreme in order to prove your loyalty to your job or clients? Was it actually an expectation of all coworkers — or just this one?

We’ve talked about difficult coworkers before, but this is more about those who know they are acting extreme and expect you to put up with them, or they believe that to be successful, you must behave in a similar way. If you’ve never had to work with an extreme person at work, consider yourself lucky. Studies have shown that a toxic work environment can cause extreme stress, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

So how can you deal with extreme coworkers?

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How to Build Good Habits: Tips & Tricks

How to build good habitsReaders, what are your tips on how to build good habits? Which healthy habits have you successfully started? Have you found that one healthy habit had a domino-type effect on other healthy habits (for example, getting to bed earlier)?

A few months ago, I started to get healthier by fitting exercise into my busy daygetting more sleep, and eating healthier. Although I bought a FitBit for points for my health insurance program several months earlier, I only recently started to use its tracking capabilities on a regular basis. I started by setting easy but meaningful goals, including how many days and minutes per week of activity. I made sure to enter all of my activities. To further motivate myself, I got a new bike. I started tracking my miles on two or three apps each day, as well as a legal pad, and set a goal of 100 miles per month. I also set reminders on my calendar. Looking back, I think it was about 4-6 weeks after I started that I realized that I was making exercise a priority and was consistently hitting my goals. I also felt healthier and my clothes fit a little better.

So let’s discuss some of the best tips on how to build good habits…

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