The idea behind breaks is, in part, that effective work is bolstered by leaving the task aside for brief periods so as to refresh and invigorate the person working. But (and you knew there had to be a but, didn’t you?) much of the time, we use our rest periods to do other tasks. Mostly checking social media.

I’m going to suggest we try doing less during our breaks. It’s easy to let the pile of Things to Do bully us into trying to take action on uncrossed-out items. It’s harder, counterintuitively, to just rest. I have a notion that if we could do this for one or more days, it would be even more effective.

It may be that, like meditation, a short period where focus is on just resting can enhance our reinvigoration. Further, it might then unchain the burden of being made to be something else. A break gains meaning in this way, not because of the number of things we can accomplish outside our work, but because it isn’t trying to become something else. It’s no longer just the absence of work. It, like us, when we live in the moment, is its true self.