15 Ways How to Effectively Use The Pomodoro 5 Minute Break

Written by Domantas Vanagas

November 11, 2021

The five-minute break after every work session is vital to the Pomodoro Technique. The technique doesn’t tell you what to do on your break. What are you supposed to do for five minutes?

There are plenty of things you can do in a five-minute break. You can relax, get organized, and maintain good health quickly! Don’t believe you can achieve that in just five minutes? You can! Here are some ideas for your break that will prove how easy it is.


15 Things You Can Do in 5 Minute Pomodoro Break:


1. Declutter Your Desk

Have your papers started to pile up? Are all of your pens lying on your desk? The clutter in your workspace can distract you from your work. During your break, try to tidy up for just five minutes! Your mind will feel clearer after refreshing your space.


2. Stretch

After sitting down for several Pomodoros, your body needs to move. Do some simple stretches, especially ones for your shoulders and neck. These will make your body feel less tense and even fight chronic pain from poor posture. A five-minute stretch can help you in the long run.

three people stretching in the park

A quick stretch a day keeps the doctor away!


3. Drink Water

Caffeinated drinks can be tempting if you are looking for a quick pick-me-up, but Water is more beneficial than you think. Not only does drinking water keep you healthy, but it can also increase your brain function.

Next time you feel that brain fog, reach for the H2O!


4. Meditate or Practice Deep Breathing

It’s no secret that work can be stressful. An easy way to reduce stress on a short break is to meditate or do deep breathing. 

woman doing a breathing technique in her living room

Many kinds of meditation include mindfulness, mantra, and guided visualization meditations. If you are curious, Headspace breaks down different kinds here.

If meditation isn’t for you, there are also benefits to simply breathing deeply. Deep breathing can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, making you more relaxed. It’s a simple way to take the stress out of your workday. One of the best techniques we are practicing is the Wim Hof breathing technique.


5. Step Outside

Our brains love nature. Research has found that being outdoors can decrease mental fatigue. If you’re feeling worn down at work, stepping out of the office is a great solution.

Go to your closest green space for just five minutes and soak up your surroundings. You are sure to feel calm and refreshed when you return to the office.


6. Write a Thank You Letter

With the rise of electronic communication, handwritten notes have become even more thoughtful. Use your five-minute break to write someone a letter thanking them for something they did for you recently.

Whether the thank you is for something big or small, the gesture will touch the recipient. It feels good to return their kindness!


7. Eat a Healthy Snack

Food is fuel for our bodies. What you get out of your body results from what you put into it. Fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Fruits also contain sugar, which is a quick source of energy.

Meats, legumes, and nuts are full of protein, which are important for many processes in your body, from carrying oxygen in your blood to repairing cells. There are also a variety of foods that are good for your brain!

They can help build brain cells and improve communication between the cells themselves. Some examples of brain-boosting foods are:

  • Fish
  • Blueberries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Eggs
  • Leafy greens


8. Do a Brain Dump

If you can’t relax on your break because you can’t stop thinking, do a brain dump. Grab a notebook or a piece of paper and do some stream-of-consciousness journaling. Write down everything on your mind; by the end, your head will feel clearer.


9. Read a Book

Did you know that in the United States, people aged 15-44 read for a maximum of ten minutes daily? By having mini-reading sessions, you can easily become an above-average reader!

person smiling while reading a book

This is a good habit because it directly affects your brain health. You exercise your brain’s ability to connect different circuits every time you read. This means that regular reading makes your brain stronger. If you think about it, it’s like doing a small workout on your break – but a lot less sweaty!


10. Make a Grocery List

Do you ever swing by the grocery store after work but hate wasting time wandering the aisles without a list? Use your break to make a grocery list to save time later! This is especially helpful for families and if you are distracted by making a mental list. Writing one down on paper can clear your mind and make your grocery trip all the faster! Plus, you’re less likely to forget that one thing you need. 


11. Water Your Plants

If your office plants look thirsty, use your break to give them a drink! This is a great way to stretch your legs if you’re tired of sitting down. If you don’t have any plants, consider getting one! Houseplants have many benefits, including reducing stress and cleaning the air around you. 


12. Declutter your Device

More work than ever is now being completed and stored on devices. This means that your phone or your computer can get just as cluttered as your desk!

decluttered clean desk

There are many ways to do a digital declutter, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Delete photos that you no longer want
  • Export or back up photos you want to save
  • Delete any apps that you don’t use often
  • Sort files saved to your desktop into their proper folders 

This virtual decluttering will feel just as satisfying as tidying up your physical space. You will be surprised by how much of a relief it will be! 


13. Make a ‘Done’ List

You’ve heard of the to-do list, but have you ever heard of making a ‘done’ list? Instead of having a list of things you need to do, you make a list of everything you’ve accomplished! This way, you can focus on what you have done instead of thinking about all the things you still have to do.

Use one of your five-minute breaks to check in with yourself. Write down everything you’ve achieved so far in the day. It’s probably more than you think!


14. Learn Something New

Learning something new can add some variety to your life if your workdays start to feel like they’re all the same. You don’t have to learn to solve complex math problems; it could be anything! You could catch up on current events or check out a science-focused website like Popular Science and read an article.

As tempting as it is to scroll through social media on a break, this is much better for your brain. It can also be a great conversation starter! Who doesn’t love sharing new information with other people?


15. Shred Papers

It’s hard to step away from a productive task to do something that feels unproductive, like paper shredding. To stay on top of paper clutter, use your five-minute break to shred documents you no longer need.

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