Everybody needs a break. Two great inventions that speak to that need are the weekend and the vacation, both of which have a distinct beginning and end. But a break in the middle of the workday is a more elusive challenge. Deadlines, demanding bosses, guilt, and sheer workload often make us power through. We eat lunch while catching up on email and consider a walk to the bathroom a luxury.

On the other hand, even if we value and prioritize breaks, sometimes they go off the rails, unintentionally shape-shifting into a momentum-killing two-hour rabbit hole of online shopping, one more round of Snake vs Block, or BuzzFeed quizzes (We Can Guess Your Eye Color Based On The Trip You Plan To Michigan, anyone?)

Either way, stopping to stare out the window or wander the halls at work may seem lazy, guilt-inducing, willpower-taxing, or logistically impossible. However, done right, breaks can boost focus, recharge your batteries, and make you more productive, not to mention happier. How to do it right? This week, here are 7 ways to make those few minutes really count.

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