4 Productive Ways to Spend a 15-Minute Work Break

Making time in your workday for a few short breaks can recharge your creativity, lower stress and boost productivity. In a recent post for Fast Company, Kevin Purdy shared four tips on how to make the most of these work breaks.

  1. Get up. Every 20 minutes, stand up for two minutes, recommends Gretchen Reynolds, a fitness columnist for the New York Times. You could use this two-minute period for standing work like phone calls or crank things up even further by taking a walk around.
  2. Stage “shower moments.” Engage in what Purdy calls a “menial but mindful task,” such as washing the dishes, walking the dog or, yes, taking a shower. Such tasks give your brain a chance to make connections, supercharging your creativity.
  3. Mentor and be mentored. A 15-minute break is just enough time to give a colleague advice on a project, or fire off a quick instant message or email to your mentor. If you don’t have a mentor yet, spend some time sharing your expertise on Quora or similar sites.
  4. Meditate. Proponents of meditation swear by its ability to promote mental clarity, focus and good, creative work. Use one of your work breaks to clear your mind, breathe deeply and think about nothing.

Do you take enough breaks in your workday? How do you typically spend them?

More From PayScale

5 Ways to Make Office Workstations Healthier

What Really Makes Us Happy at Work

Stanford Study Proves Super-Productive Employees Prefer Working From Home


(Photo credit: Lindsay.dee.bunny/Flickr)