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What is the ideal number of breaks to take a day to achieve maximum productivity and excellence?

Once an hour for two-five minutes. Two ten minute breaks in an 8-10 hour period—an hour-long lunch break. No, I’m not kidding. Please don’t take my word for it. Never believe anyone has the answers. Go try stuff out for yourself.

Productivity mastery: Once an hour to stand up and move while looking out at nature, or lay down flat on your back, for just 2 minutes with your eyes closed, and breathe.

Caveat: set your intention for what you want to achieve in your next hour of work, set a timer before you get up for 2-5 minutes, and get right back to work as soon as the timer goes off.

If you are a high-achiever, an ambitious go-getter, and a perfectionistic person, you will find it challenging to take these breaks. Why?

Because the cocktail of stress hormones WORKS, yes, being stressed out WORKS in making you more productive; it got you this far, didn’t it? You’re alert; energy is there, you are moving forward and getting shit DONE.

The rush of stress at a new deadline, or pressure, it creates focus and motivation. Your body revs up. Once you’re going in full force, you don’t not only not want to stop for a break; it’s hard to make yourself do it.

Changing states is TOUGH. It’s why kids shout they don’t want to take a bath, and then they are happily playing moments after being put in.

It’s why it’s hard to get up in the morning, but hard to make yourself go to bed or fall asleep at night. Transitions from one state of being to another are MEGA difficult. Your body doesn’t want to do it.

After all, YOU’RE IN THE FLOW, and there is the fear that you won’t get it back if you stop. Hell, if you lay down, those dishes may never get done, the report never finished, the meal never cooked, and people will be waiting for you- because you’re already behind today.

Here’s the thing, though- this is how you slide into chronic stress, fatigue, and eventual burnout.

There’s only so much your body can take before the negative effects surface: exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, irritability, less laughter, quickness to over-react, decreasing lack of focus, loss of productivity and efficiency, increasing sense of apathy.

You can go on wellness weekends and have a massage once a month. You can come once a week to my power yoga class and relax deeply, but if you don’t change your daily work and rest patterns, that stuff will not help much. (Still come to me in power yoga though).


I know you’ve read or heard all about the magical state of flow, and when you slide in, you don’t want to come out for a ‘stupid, pointless 2-minute break. Flow is good: it’s IDEAL, right?

Um, well, yes. But guess what? You can take the break and still stay in the flow. You can train your body, mind, and emotions to do it. Set the intention for your next hour, set the timer, take the rest, go into it completely, jump up immediately at the bell, and go back into the workflow

Yeah- I’m talking about those 2-minute breaks once an hour.

Why do people sliding into a burnout refuse to take enough breaks? Or maybe- any breaks? It is because it has been working well for them so far.

And perhaps you work at a place where PEOPLE ARE WATCHING YOU.

If you stand up once an hour for a break, won’t they think you’ve lost your edge? That you aren’t giving it your all? I hear you. ‘

More often than not, people can’t see what you’re working on; they don’t have time or energy to care what you’re getting done, and what does that mean? The only way for people to know how hard you’re working is by watching you.

That’s going to be tough. Be brave, love. Start productivity and well-being revolution. Go ahead, try it out. Experiment with this for just one week. See how it feels and how much more high-quality work you get done.

And if you feel better at the end of the day as a result of those breaks, well hell, that’s all sorts of awesome, no?

Wishing you to kick ass at work and feel super serene while doing it- Heather


Looking forward to seeing you face to face.