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A recipe for a more rejuvenating work break

Photo: Dougal Waters/Getty Images

😊 Today’s tip: Plan breaks for fun—not just for relief—during the workday.

Most of us live out our workdays as a series of sad little rewards: You knock out that memo, and you can have 15 minutes of doing nothing, as a treat. Meanwhile, the good stuff — the activities that bring us actual happiness, not respite — stays out of reach until we’re done for the day.

But as the therapist Kathleen Smith argues: “We simply can’t strong-arm ourselves into productivity when we feel anxious and isolated. The promise of happiness isn’t enough when we need it right this minute.” A better system: Stay motivated by sprinkling fun throughout your day instead of saving it for the end. Use your breaks to call a friend, or read another chapter of a book you’re loving, or paint your nails. Make joy a regular part of the schedule, and you’ll be in a better frame of mind for whatever the day demands.

📚 More from Forge on enjoying yourself:

How to Relearn the Joy of Being Alone

What Even Is ‘Fun’ Anyway?

Now Is the Time for Low-Stakes Hobbies

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