Zoom Break Zumba

This is one option, ten minutes dance-off while you are waiting for the next session to begin–by the by: beginning. Over the last couple of months people have been asking for suggestions of what do you do during these newly acquired breaks between meetings. You know the ones we used to use to run from one end of campus to the other end of campus, or if we had enough time, pass a coffee place and pick up a cuppa or pop into the library or a colleague’s office for a quick Hello.

autumn leaves in grass close-up

Productivity versus Relaxation


Physical Health

Neck and shoulder stretches and movement is important particularly if you have a heavy teaching and or meeting load spending a lot of time online. Need some help? Check out my brilliant colleagues from UofG Sport on their YouTube channel.

Julie has a video 6 minutes and 44 seconds to stretch shoulders and neck:

Or if your back is tight an 8 minutes and 32 seconds video for back release:

Mental Health

If this is too involved for you during a break. I often water houseplants, and there seems some evidence around about the benefit of having houseplants for mental health, which I never seize to point out when the significant other rolls his eyes about a new purchase.

close up of plant and cards from friends

Starting, hanging or folding laundry is also a good 5 to 10 minutes, get up, move about activity, and it has the benefit that come weekend, most laundry is history (well depending on size of household). You might dispute the relaxation effect of this, for me creating some order and tidying is relaxing.

  • Can you go outside and walk around the block, or if you have a garden walk through your garden?
  • Doodle your thoughts?
  • Knit a couple of rows on a current project?
  • Play with your pet?
  • What do you do?



One of the tips Rich Furman offers is to engage in micro-writing activities. He has challenged academics before to write anytime, anywhere. While waiting in a doctors office use the ten 15 minutes to write. If you have a brief break without anything use it to write. Do editing later, just write. This is really good advice. I have a general writing document open in the background and begun to type.

image of planning notebook

Getting Things Done

  • Planning, I like to sort through my To-Do lists
  • MindMap: update projects and ideas
  • Do busy work, need to look for an article or two?
  • Meant to read an article: read abstract, intro and conclusion.
  • Answer an email or two.
  • Also this is a good timeslot to follow the 2 minute rule from Getting Things Done if you have a task that takes 2 minutes or less do not write it down just do it now.
  • What other busy work can you do?

Anyhow, these are my five cents worth of things I do during these brief breaks in which one cannot really begin to work on a full new task. What do you usually do? Do you have any productivity tips?

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