1) Do something that takes your mind off of your work, hence a break. This is what most people do when they get away from their work. Get away, and come back fresh. This is probably the most common thing one hears about breaks. For me, it doesn't always work out. If it's a pressing deadline of some sort, breaks just freak me out. I want to get back to the job so I can try and hammer it out, then I'll take a break later.
2) This is the other thing you can do, or "just happens". While you're out, it's possible that whatever you're up to can help you get your "thing(s)" done. For me, shit just comes to me. I went to MoMA yesterday, and while walking around aimlessly looking at random pieces of art, I came across one piece that looked something like a t-shirt I was trying to make but couldn't get right. Looking at the painting gave me an idea on how to possibly "fix" the design. I was only at MoMA for a couple of hours, and I left with an idea that was worth more than the $20 price of admission. One can't really look at it this way, since I think you'll always be behind in terms of money, but this time, aside from seeing great art, I think I solved a design "issue". Inspiration can come from anywhere, it's how you channel it that makes a difference. I'm now excited to get to that design which basically means, I'm wanting to get to back to my work. We'll see if this t-shirt comes to fruition, but at least it's not just a boat on a hill for another chance.
I'm not sure if this is something you can practice, but either way, walking away from your project and coming back can help you if you're stuck. Speaking of stuck, I've heard of people talk about writer's block. Know much about that? Thankfully, I've never encountered it. I'm not sure if a break will help you get over that, since it's already sort of a break when you're blocked. Maybe the idea is just to plow into it before it turns into a phobia like Charles Barkley's golf swing.
*in case you don't know what I'm talking about. Retired NBAer, Charles Barkley was once a decent golfer, but for some reason he developed a weird hitch in his swing that won't go away. It's a phobia of some sort and it's the most hideous golf swing you can imagine.
BTW... Yesterday was Souther's opening here in NYC, the new space is cool, and different compared to the rest of GR, it's seems like an example of growing organically. GR shops have art exhibitions that are coupled with retail. But GRNY2 has an art section that stands alone in the front with the retail in the back. It's definitely more of a risk, but it's better for the artist.
This is just a .5! I'll resume tomorrow if I can! My wireless is spotty here in NYC. If I could, I'd blog with a blackberry, but one problem... no blackberry.