Congratulations! You’ve made it through a Pomodoro, and now it’s time for a short break. Since short breaks only last five minutes, and you’ll soon be diving into another Pomodoro, you should refrain from doing anything during your break that requires significant brain power. Also avoid thinking about what you’ve accomplished so far.
These short breaks should be just that. Breaks.
So what should you do during your short breaks? Leaving your desk or work area is recommended, to create some physical distance between you and what you’re working on. Get up and walk around to get your blood moving, and let your mind go elsewhere. Thinking about unrelated things can actually help you focus when it’s time to get the Pomodoro ticking again. Not to mention, it stimulates your problem solving creativity, because the seemingly unrelated concepts you’ve spent a few minutes thinking about could prove useful when applied to your work.
One thing to keep in mind is that five minutes goes by faster than you’d think, so don’t commit to anything too taxing or absorbing, or it will be difficult to get back into the zone once the break is over.
A refreshing and prudently spent short break might include virtually anything low key and non-work related. As long as you give your mind a genuine rest from the tasks at hand, that’s what is truly important. Whatever you do, don’t think too hard about it. Just give yourself some rejuvenation and get ready for another Pomodoro! Time’s ticking.
Here are a few examples of what other Pomodoro users do on their short breaks, and some resources to inspire not only your breaks, but the rest of your workday:
- Try some simple desk exercises, like the ones listed in this article, “5 Desk Exercises for Your Busy Office Life.” They’re quick, effective, and don’t even require leaving your office, if you’re not in the mood to walk around.
- Do a quick organizational chore. Not one that you dread, or find to be cumbersome. Just something small, like emptying out your backpack, purse, or briefcase, and reorganizing it, or cleaning up your desk area and tossing unnecessary documents. Or if you work from home, you could get a load of laundry started, or wash the dishes. Little household or administrative tasks like these can feel oddly satisfying and mind freeing when breaking up your Pomodoros.
- Do a simple hand or neck massage to release tension. There are several video tutorials online that can teach you how.
- Similarly, some “office yoga” or breathing exercises can go a long way in five minutes to center your mind and body.
- Or even keep it as simple as getting up to get a glass of water.