9 Apps to Give You the Most Bang for Your Breaks!

December 30, 2016

How many people do you know that can be productive for 8 hours, or more, a day? It’s difficult for the average worker to do this, as their body needs time to relax and recover from the duress of the workday. Thankfully, new technologies provide some semblance of reprieve for office workers in the form of improving the way that they delegate and spend their breaks.

Try the Pomodoro Technique
A short break can go a long way, especially when your employees are so exhausted that they can’t even focus. This is particularly true if the task at hand is something which is long, tiresome, or downright boring. Taking a moment to catch your breath is a great way for the brain to catch up, rather than continue on at the speed of a snail.

The Pomodoro Technique attempts to provide workers with these short breaks. Francesca Cirillo introduced the Pomodoro Technique in the 1980s, and named it after the famous tomato-shaped kitchen timer. The way this works is by splitting your workday into periods of work and breaks, and using periodic breaks to optimize the amount of energy your brain has to work with. Another benefit of this is that it helps you better manage the time spent on certain tasks, allowing you to put more focus on tasks that have deadlines.

This technique depends on your ability to focus and devote time to specific tasks, so only the most diligent workers will be able to maximize their productivity in this manner.

Apps That Can Help

  • ClearFocus: ClearFocus is an Android-based timer, which lets you set increments to certain tasks. The app will even count down until it’s time to take a break or move on to the next task.
  • Focus Booster: Focus Booster tries to use the Pomodoro Technique to optimize focus, while also using tracking and reporting for business-related purposes. Due to this business focus, Focus Booster is not a free solution. Subscriptions are a meager $2.99/month.
  • PomoDone: PomoDone is a way for users to configure their schedules, so long as you keep an eye on how long your subscription lasts.

Get Up and Go
If you want to make sure that your break is actually a break, get away from the office for a bit and go for a walk. Sitting is pretty bad for you, and it’s been proven that a little midday movement can help you stay healthier. This is especially true if your business has an in-house gymnasium or the benefits of a gym membership, as fitness equipment can be readily accessible during the offtime.

Of course, even something as simple as a walk can help. Give your body the chance to refresh itself by taking in some beautiful scenery.

Apps That Can Help

  • Wherever Workout: This is an Android app that provides exercise procedures for any type of scenario you can imagine. This includes workouts that can only be done exclusively in the office. This helps to keep you both happy and healthy, even when in the office, and it’s free.
  • Workout Trainer (Android and iOS): Workout Trainer provides you with plenty of exercises, all explained in fine detail. Unlike some other workout apps, this one makes sure that you know how to properly do it in order to minimize the possibility of an injury.
  • Pedometer & Weight Loss Coach: (Android and iOS) This app is mostly just a calorie counter, and it will track the user’s steps. You can also use the History function that can give you a pattern of how you used the app so you can make better health decisions.

Just Breathe
The office environment isn’t a walk in the park, and it can often be stressful. Past all of the deadlines and office culture, however, is sweet reprieve. Just take a deep breath and try to relax. Stress is counterintuitive for productivity, so you can use breathing exercises to clear your head and get back in the game.

Apps That Can Help

  • Calm: This is a web app that lets the user listen to ambient sounds to help them relax. Calm also offers the ability to program a noise that lets you know when you have to get back to work.
  • Breathe2Relax: (Android and iOS) This app functions as both an educational tool to show users how stress affects their body, as well as a deep-breathing guide for stabilizing your mood.
  • Smart Breathe: (Android and iOS) Smart Breathe shows users exactly how to do breathing exercises, and even better, it’s free.

How do you spend your breaks? Let us know in the comments.

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