Working From Home, Tip #9: A Hard Break

Tip #9 is short and simple. But, for some reason, hard for me to be consistent with.

Take a significant afternoon break.

Why? Because research shows when people work at home, they tend to work later, contrary to popular myth.

Maybe during the work day, you had to get out and run some errands, or pick up kids, or throw in some laundry. It’s just life. As a result, your work day runs into the evening more often. Instead of leaving your office at a designated time to commute home, you may end up working later into the evening– even after you break for dinner– and never really unplug.

Guilty. As. Charged.

I find that when I take a significant afternoon break, I can finish the workday strong without feeling guilty when I quit for the evening. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking 20-30 minutes to connect with my wife or kids. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk. Or squeeze in a quick workout. Or play with the dogs. Or take a nap.

Lately, I’ve scheduled a 3pm alarm on my phone, Monday thru Friday. When it goes off, I take my break. Squeeze in a quick walk. Some vinyasa. Or time with the family. That way, when I come back at 3:30, I can finish out the next 2 1/2 hours strong.

Try it! Set an alarm. Take a 20-30 minute break and go for a walk. Or a nap. Or, if possible, some playtime with the kids. You have my permission to take an extended, guilt-free moment to recharge and refresh. I promise, you’ll finish out the day stronger and more creative than if you’d plowed through it feeling fatigued. Nothing great ever comes from fatigue.

And those around you deserve your greatness.

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