Photo of a note on a computer saying "pause"
We all need time during the day to pause, take a break and reassess

Change your life: Take a break!

6 October, 2014

You’ve been sitting for several minutes staring blankly at the same page of a book, the same computer screen, or a particular piece of work, but you don’t seem to be able to concentrate or or make any progress?

Sound familiar?

When you find that your focus is dwindling this is your body giving you a big hint that it’s time to take a break.

Here are some tips for making any break you take more effective:

The best type of breaks entail not only changing the type of activity you’re doing, but also your location. So, if you’ve been working at the computer in your office, it might be beneficial to stand up and stretch or, if feasible, take a walk round the block.

“What is without periods of rest will not endure” — Ovid

Avoid confusing ‘diversions’ with ‘breaks’. For example, if you’re working on the computer and you take a ‘break’ by playing computer games, you’ve only created a diversion, not a true break. Remember, an effective break requires a change of both location and activity.

Move your body! Exercise promotes the circulation, which increases the amount of oxygen in the brain – this helps to keep you alert and thinking clearly.

Get outside for some fresh air – and hopefully some sunshine. This is a great way to relax your mind and clear your thoughts.

Programme periodic breaks in your schedule throughout the day. Planning breaks in advance helps you to create a rhythm and balance to your schedule as well as keeping you refreshed.

(Taken from The Art of Taking a Break by Bernice Ross & Byron Van Arsdale)


  • Annabel Sutton is a Professional Certified Coach and Author.  She has lived in Los Angeles and Indonesia; survived earthquakes and riots, lived with head-hunters and enjoyed a portfolio career.  She now enjoys a somewhat quieter life in Somerset!  Her latest book, 52 Ways to Transform Your Life (Weekly Wisdom for Busy People), contains 52 inspiring, quick-to-read life tips and is available from . Find more information at