Ten Ways To Walk Away From Work

Are you guilty of hyperfocusing? This is a term that's common to the ADD community, but it's an easy habit for anyone to fall into. Sitting at the computer for hours at a time, working with absolutely no sense of anything else going on around you. You look up, and the whole day has flown by without you realizing it. We've all done it — and we all know it's not healthy. So what can you do to put some forced breaks into your day?

Get Some Fresh Air

Whether you choose to sit in the back yard or take a walk in the park, just getting outside to enjoy a beautiful day can refresh and rejuvenate you.

Go Read A Book

When I find myself getting brain-fried at the computer, I crash on the couch for an hour and read a book. Nothing too heavy (no politics or philosophy) — just a good old-fashioned piece of fiction. Shifting your focus from work to fantasy — and focusing away from the minutia of your day — will help you be more productive when you return to your desk.

Take A Hot Bath

My mid-day hot bath (combined with my book) has become a ritual on days when I don't see clients. I work on the computer until about lunchtime, eat, and then soak in the tub with the lights off and candles lit for a half-hour or so. My afternoon at the computer looks a lot more attractive after I've had my retreat from the world!

Get Some Exercise

Nothing clears your head and works the kinks out of your back like 30 minutes of hard physical exercise. You can run, bike, rollerblade, go to the gym — just try to keep your routine varied so you don't get bored.

Take A Real Lunch Break

If you have fallen into the very bad habit of eating at your desk, get over it today! Eat at the dining table, take a brown bag to the park, or make a lunch date with a friend. Just that small break in your day could be all you need to energize you for the rest of the afternoon — as long as it truly is a break!

Call A Friend

I've gotten so accustomed to efficient communications in my business — concise e-mails, brief phone conversations, faxing — that I had almost forgotten what a joy it is to just gab. Don't let the whole day slip away, but allot 30 minutes one afternoon to call a friend and talk about anything except business.

Run Some Errands

Many of us feel guilty taking a break during the work day – we feel we should be productive the entire time. But you can still get out of the office. Just make a list of chores that you need to run — business and personal — and head out the door. You can still feel good that you got something accomplished.

Take A Class

I recently signed up for a mosaics class for 6 Wednesdays from 1 to 3:30 PM. At first, I felt tremendously guilty about giving up 2 and a half hours of my work day. So I made sure I got started an hour earlier and worked an hour later in the day to make up for it. But when I saw how much more relaxed and effective I am the rest of the week — because taking this class reminds me that I actually have a life outside of work — I decided it was definitely worth it!

Take A Nap

I am a morning or late evening person — I am next to useless during the mid-afternoon. And I used to beat myself up over the fact that I could never get anything done from about 1 to 2 PM. Then I learned that I could start my day an hour earlier, take a guilt-free nap during the afternoon, and still end on time.

Set A Timer

If you have a hard time making yourself get up from your desk, set an alarm clock to go off every hour or half hour. When the timer goes off, get up and walk away for a few minutes. Even if you don't do much of anything, you are still including those ever important breaks in your day and fighting the tendency to sit in front of your computer for 12 hours straight.

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    Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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