When you work for yourself, it’s likely that you’re tucked up at your desk for most of the day. Running your own business, while very satisfying, can be hard sometimes – keeping up with all the tasks you’ve set, sticking to deadlines and making sure your clients remain happy. It’s easy to think that there aren’t enough hours in the day!

But wait.

If you’re one of those people who feel guilty even thinking about stepping away from the computer (and apparently 1 in 5 of us are), then you need to re-set your thinking.

The truth is, NOT allowing yourself a break once in a while is bad for you. Yes, ‘powering through’ can have a negative affect on your mental state and actually make you LESS productive!

It’s all down to science I’m afraid. The human brain isn’t designed to concentrate on just one thing for a long period of time, so focusing on a set task for say, a few hours, will begin to have an adverse affect and your brain may start to wander. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a project, with ideas flowing left, right and centre – then suddenly, nothing. Complete blank. Creative block at it’s best – then you’ll know what I mean.

The secret?

Taking a break. And it doesn’t even have to be a long break. Even a ‘microbreak’ of between 30 seconds and five minutes will really benefit you. And doing so BEFORE you loose focus is even better – it can boost your happiness, give you greater satisfaction in your work and increase your productivity by up to 13%.

A two-minute break gives you the time to stand and stretch – pushing oxygen to your brain, waking you up and shaking off that lethargy. And looking away from your screen, even for a minute, can relieve the symptoms of eyestrain.

When you’re working at home and there aren’t any colleagues around to remind you to get some down time, make the most of natural breaks. As a work from home mum I find some of my best ideas come on the school run – for the 30 minute stroll to the school gates I’m not tied to the computer or my note book and my mind is free to wander wherever it wants.

But if the school run isn’t compulsory for you then take the dog for a walk, pop to the local shop for a treat or simply put the kettle on and stare out of the kitchen window for five minutes. It all helps. And that quick break you said you didn’t have time for will actually help you work at your best and ensure that you get the job done!



If the idea of working for yourself and running your own Virtual Assistant business sounds like something that might be for you, then find out more by heading over to http://myvabusiness.co.uk