As a self-employed freelance Virtual Assistant working alone, you are free to focus on tasks to your heart’s content! No office ‘water cooler’ chat to get distracted by or irritating colleagues you just need to get up and away from throughout the day. No, it’s just you, your coffee and your client work….bliss!
But who is guilty of not taking breaks as frequently as they should be? I know I am!
When it is your own business, time is money, and ten to fifteen minutes of downtime when you charge by the hour can feel like a luxury you can’t afford!
However, working flat out is actually counterproductive. Experts recommend that you take a 5-10 minute break every 50-60 minutes.
So what to do in those 5-10 minutes? I have some advice!
Box off a chore
One of the best benefits of working from home for me is the ability to catch up on household tasks during the day. I can blitz the toys in the living room, do the dishes, start tea in the slow cooker, throw a wash on or hang a wash out. All of these tasks take about ten minutes each time.
By the end of the day, I feel a lot more organised than when I used to work in an office and would come home after 6 pm and be faced with the breakfast dishes….
Do some meditation or yoga
I use a couple of apps for meditation and a lot of the guided meditations are 10 minutes, perfect for taking some time to ground myself at intervals during the working day.
It helps clear my mind, reduces stress, and enables me to focus on the tasks ahead of me.
Who remembers playing solitaire on their PC back in the day? Well, I am a sucker for it and love a quick online card game, just for a change of focus during the working day. Solitaire (or Patience as my Grandad called it when I would play it with him as a little girl) and Mahjong are the perfect antidote to a morning of design work, and get my brain working in a totally different way!
I must say that I am somewhat of a Mahjong master in our house and am proud to say I have never had to reshuffle! I have caved to the odd hint now and again, but a reshuffle….never!
Card games are proven to lower stress and boost your focus and memory. All sound like a pretty good reason to have a go in my opinion!
Get some fresh air
If you have a garden, pop out into it and help a plant out with some dead-heading or water a few pots!
Even better, do it barefoot on the grass for the win! Research shows that connecting with the earth, or grounding as it is called, has instant, calming benefits for us.
Read from a book or blog
It can be all too easy to pick up your phone and just scroll mindlessly through Insta when you have some time to kill. But that will do nothing for your productivity or your soul!
Instead, why not read a chapter of a book you have on the go or a couple of blogs from a site you enjoy? Both options will be more beneficial to your mind than disappearing down the rabbit hole of social media.
However you choose to break up your day as a freelance Virtual Assistant, just make sure that you do! Your physical and mental health, and your clients, will thank you for it! Set a timer if necessary and enjoy those minutes of me-time!