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I know there is a question regarding the longer break, but I want to know what should I be doing during the 5 minute break? Should I get away from the PC or just check email and facebook?

I'm just about to start my new job as a programmer full time, and although I'm sure I can walk around the office, but not every 30 minutes.

So should I get away from the computer?

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7 Answers 7

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You should do whatever that helps you not to keep thinking about what you were doing. Ideally you should leave your desk. Physical movement helps to disconnect in these 5 min breaks.

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I like a little quick exercise when I'm in a Pomodoro break. The web site at http://www.fitbolt.com has a nice tool that presents a new (office safe) exercise every thirty minutes. That timer is supposed to be adjustable, although I haven't tried it yet. Breathing exercises and a little stretching is good, too.

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If you're not tired or can't walk around the office during your pomodoro break, just stop for a moment and reflect how well are you going on the task at hand.

In your example if you're writing a piece of code, ask yourself how you started this pomodoro and how did you end it. Did you get distracted, did you change your mind, are you still comfortable where you're sitting, lights, chair, etc.

The idea of a break between pomodoros is to reset your brain so it doesn't get stuck into a pattern that is not productive for you. By reflecting on what you did, you become mindful of your own mind and allow yourself to renew your thoughts for the next pomodoro

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I found a lot of good answer in this book, which I suggest you to read. Basically it says you shouldn't do anything work-related (such as reading mails). Closing your eyes and relaxing not thinking about anything is the best thing to do. Other things that might help are talking with colleagues about work-unrelated things, stretching, drink a cup of coffee.

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Get away from your desk, disconnect for a moment, drinks some water and then get back into it. A quick breathing exercise will help too.

The basic idea is that you zoom out for a moment so that you can full engage at your work again. That's why it's a good idea to get away from your desk so that when you do sit at your desk, you get work done. It's that mini conditioning that will help you to relax when you're away from your desk and focus when you are at your desk.

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I'm full-time programmer too, the best small pomodoro break for me is good old brain-relaxing method: Take a minute and close your eyes do the slow breathing try to relax.
For me these five minutes is time to recharge.

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Here's what I do:

During my 5 minute breaks between Pomodoros, I just look away from the computer screen and move around in my chair a bit. Sometimes I just relax and look off into the distance, other times I organize my desk, etc.

During my longer 15 minute breaks after ever 4 Pomodoros (this ends up being about every 2 hours), I take a walk around the office, get a drink of water, etc.

It always helps my eyes to not be staring at the computer screen constantly.

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