Exhausting one’s self with work, looking for the optimal way to take a break, we can easily lead ourselves astray with breaks that run us off course, lasting forever.
What other option do we have?…
“You need to get into the habit of taking frequent ‘dopamine breaks,’ as I call them. They are a little five minute windows when you do something completely different.”[^1]
Particularly for those with wandering minds, it can be very helpful to take periodic breaks.
The Pomodoro Technique, for example, describes a method of working for 25 minute bursts interspersed with 5 and occasionally 20 minute breaks.
While doing something completely different is useful, it might be worth considering its depth. We can easily say that social media, email, and the like are different from whatever it was that we were just doing. However, many of these can draw us far away from our original intentions.
We could examine our breaks deliberately, considering how consuming they are and instead choose a quick burst of exercise, grabbing a healthy snack, or making a short trip for a glass of water.
But for myself, there may be an even better break:
For a few moments, pause, and simply be.
Thoughts have a way of coalescing, “aha” moments tend to appear more frequently, and we better engage from a sense of centeredness.
Remembering that pausing is an option is the tricky part.
PS. I really appreciate Shankman’s approach. He has a wonderfully positive view.
[^1]: Shankman, Peter. *Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain*. TarcherPerigee, 2017, p40