top ten productive ways to take a short break from work

We’ve all been there and got the t-shirt. A never ending pile of work, deadlines all on the same day, your inbox keeps pinging at you and your phone is ringing off the hook (wow! that term is dated!) and you’re starting to feel your creativity and productivity plummet, but you can’t stop… can you? We say yes, you can. In instances like this sometimes a 'clear your head and regroup' break is just what’s needed. After all a break is as good as a rest! So we thought we’d lift the lid on our top ten productive ways to take a short break from work. 

There are some rules of engagement before diving into your short break. The break is designed to be quick little reviver… limit yourself to 10-20 minutes any more then you're procrastinating and burying your head in the sand. Try a few of them out and see what works for you.  

fivesquid's top ten productive ways to take a short break from work


1. Walkies

Take a brisk 10 minute walk especially on a cold day - a break from the screen and a blast of fresh air can give you a new lease of life. 


2. Doodle

A 10 minute doodle break, yes we’re serious. Doodling is greatly underrated, it can boost concentration, productivity and also help with creativity. Grab a piece of paper, your favourite pen and move away from your desk and doodle. 


3. Meditate

Zen out for 10 minutes. Headspace has a great free 10 day trial to see if it works for you. It’s a great way to clear brain fog and help you focus. 


4. Pamper

It’s amazing what you can do in 10 minutes - a quick facepack to revitalise your skin can be a real boost - no one need know you've been staring at a screen for days on end. Chuck a slice of cucumber over your eyes and you could meditate at the same time! Yep boys you too - remember we’re gender neutral. 

5. Treat

When you’re really stretched it can make you wonder what’s it all for. Taking 10 minutes to book a treat and help you find the motivation you’ve been lacking. Just ask Zoe, she made it to Jamaica now there’s motivation. 

6. Kindness

Do something kind. Write rather than type a letter to an old relative or pick up the phone to a friend you’ve been meaning to get in touch with for ages - it will make you feel good and be a good distraction. 

7. Hobby

Do something that relaxes you, like 10 minutes of knitting, colouring in (a mix of mindfulness and doodling there) - but no gaming or reading or you’ll be sidetracked for hours!

8. Eat

Make a quick heathy meal, when you’re on a deadline sometimes you forget to eat - don’t. Channel your inner Jamie Oliver and make a delicious meal in 10 minutes.

9. Garden

Ok, so not high on the list, but a bit of mindless weeding for 10 minutes is therapeutic or water the house plants that are looking a little lacklustre. No garden, then we recommend a miniature Japanese Zen Garden for your desk. 

10. Break

Have a Kit-Kat obvs…. other chocolate bars are available, but limit it to one, a sugar rush will not help matters - we refer to tip 8.


Good luck with those deadlines and make sure you give clients a heads up as soon as you can if it looks like you’re going to miss the deadline. Managing their expectations, realistically will make your and their life easier!