How to Organize Breaks When Working...

How to Organize Breaks When Working from Home

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

The current pandemic has been challenging for many people, especially for those who have suddenly had to learn how to work or study from home. I already had experience in that as I had been working from home for a long time, even though I still have much to learn. Working from home can be fun and challenging, but it can easily become overwhelming. However, organizing regular breaks can be helpful to stay fresh and alert while still getting work done.

Generally, the challenges of working or studying from home can fall between two extremes. Sometimes, people get no work done at all because they are constantly distracted by other tasks or activities, whether that involves watching television and playing video games or cleaning the house and preparing meals.

In contrast, other people might experience the opposite problem. Working from home means that people can never entirely get away from their job. In a busy career with no definite beginning or end to the day, they can find themselves working from early in the morning until late at night.

One technique for avoiding these two extremes is to organize breaks, either at set times or at natural changes in the workflow. In my work as a writer and dog walker, I use both methods. I get up early in the day to begin my writing work, eat breakfast at approximately the same time every morning, and leave in the early afternoon to walk the dogs. Later, I return home for some more writing, having spent at least an hour outside with the dogs. Exercise and fresh air give my brain the break it needs to return to the task of writing.

Still, one break in the middle of the day would not be enough for me to keep my focus and to get my work and other tasks done. Since I write for several different publications, I can use the different topics as breaks from each other. If I am writing an article on parking lights or traffic signals for one website, for example, I can take a break to write a magazine article on volcanoes or bald eagles. The change in topic can often give me the mental energy that I need to continue with a less interesting topic.

Even with these changes in subject, I still need complete breaks from writing. Going for a short walk, checking in my fridge for something to make for supper, or taking the time for some cleaning up can provide a good break, while also preparing me for the rest of the day. Similarly, finishing a book that I am reading or checking my e-mail can help relax my mind.

Still, setting a limit on these breaks is important. Walking only to a certain point before turning back, reading only ten pages of a book, or finishing one article can give me a break without completely making me lose focus.

In your own studies, organizing and planning your breaks can also help you manage as you work from home. You will relax better, work better, and generally have a better day.



Garis, Mary Grace. “We’re Working Longer Hours and Later Nights These Days—Here’s How to Take the Break You Deserve.” https://www.wellandgood.com/how-to-take-a-break-work-from-home/.

Healthline. “26 WFH Tips While Self-Isolating During the COVID-19 Outbreak.”  https://www.healthline.com/health/working-from-home-tips.

Indeed Career Guide. “How to Stay Organized When You Work at Home.” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-stay-organized-when-you-work-at-home.

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