Can You Spare 20 Seconds?
Congratulations! Just by reading this article and taking a well-deserved break, when you get back to work, you will be able to: increase your speed, accuracy and performance! How?
In a 2003 study, Balci & Aghazadeh found that the use of “micro-breaks” (ie. lasting 20-30 seconds) among data entry workers increased speed, accuracy and performance. 
If you keep reading (i.e. take an even longer break), you will see even more benefits:
· work speed,
· lower stress and your risk for on-the-job accidents, soreness, musculoskeletal disorders, and eyestrain.
· a smaller waistline, lower body mass index (BMI), and lower triglyceride levels. 
Extend your break from 20-30 seconds and take 5 minutes. Yes, you can spare 5 minutes. 5 minutes can help you be better! Seriously, just try one of the activities below for 5 minutes.
· Take a short walk away from your workstation.
· Stand up and stretch or walk in place at your desk without looking at your computer monitor.
· Get out of your chair whenever you take phone calls at your desk.
· Change positions at your workstation.
· Have a drink of water or a light snack. 
Did you do one of the activities? If you did, way to go! You probably feel awesome. If you didn’t, well, the cool thing is that you are still reading this article (i.e. extending your break), which is taking your mind off of work and refueling it with some good, old-fashioned mindfulness. What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness refers to a state of being fully present in the present moment, accepting each moment as it arises.  Over the last few years, a large number of studies have confirmed that the practice of mindfulness leads to enhanced performance, an improved sense of well-being, reduced stress and burnout, and increased ability to remain calm in difficult work situations. Research has shown that the practice of mindfulness result in:
· Greater insight, receptivity, balance and clarity for oneself and others (Kabat-Zinn, 1990, 2003)
· Greater leadership presence and authenticity (Langer, 2005; Santorelli, 2000)
· Increased energy and sense of well-being and expands awareness and range of our responses (Kabat-Zinn and Santorelli, 2002)
· Increased life span, greater creativity and lesser burnout (Langer, 1989)
· Improves interpersonal relationships at work (Hunter and McCormick, 2009). 
Woo-hoo! Whoever thought reading an article would bring such awesomeness!
Okay, maybe you’re starting to feel guilty and feel like you should stop reading this article and get back to work. I get it. I am feeling guilty even writing this! But I want to give you one more tidbit. Here it is:
· People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals. 
· It doesn’t have to be 2 weeks in Europe, either. Just 24 hours away, and you’ll reap the benefits. 
· Even better, the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. You can feel the effects up to 8 weeks before your trip. And when you’re done with that retreat, start planning the next one. Simply having something to look forward to can be rewarding. 
Aren’t you happy you decided to spare 20 seconds?
Founder of writemyresume.ca