I read an article that touted the virtues of fika, a Swedish custom that is essentially a coffee break. From what I read, fika (pronounced “fee-ka”) occurs several times a day. It’s considered a stress reducer because:
- You take a break from work and go somewhere like a café or coffeehouse
- It’s not a solo activity and you have fika with at least one other person
- Traditionally, you have coffee and something sweet to eat
There are no Swedish restaurants or cafes in my town but I tried to do a fika at a new French bakery. It was a wonderful treat to take time out, sit back and relax. I recommend trying a new place, cuisine or even a drink. It’s about breaking from routine.
But how can you remain productive if you do this several times a day, every day? My only guess is that it improves performance because you aren’t powering through and losing steam at the end. By taking breaks, you manage your output more consistently.
According to a few workflow experts, Fika encourages conversation, creativity and productivity. I think anyone who works at home or has a creative job should give this a try. I admit that I found it difficult getting back into my current manuscript after my fika, but it gave me a boost of energy that I think had more to do with socializing than the caffeine and sugar hit.