A normal day at work typically sees you buried in your computer, barely looking up and ploughing through an endless number of things that need to be done. But consider this: small, regular breaks throughout the day increase productivity and happiness at the workplace and boost the ability to focus again after a short break. The brain’s attentional resources start to drop after 45 minutes of focusing on a single task; the concentration level drops, you are unable to focus and it shows overall on your performance if you continue and force yourself to. Scientific studies have found that short break can help to refocus on that task for prolonged periods of time.
If your productivity is lacking, then I highly recommended you take breaks which are restorative in nature and leave you feeling mentally charged up again. Here are some ways you can include some self-management and take better breaks that act as stress busters.
Work for 45 minutes, and then take a 5-10 minute break.
Also in German schools every class “hour” is actually 45 minutes only. As my experiences as a Life Coach taught me, plus science have proven it, I suggest following that 45 minute working slots and take a 5 minute break afterwards. You will become more efficient, effective, satisfied, energetic and awake.
What to do to have a short, beneficial break:
- Move away from the computer screen: Save your work and step away from the computer for about five to ten minutes. During this break, resist from taking out your mobile, which is just another extension of your computer. Also emails and social media can wait. Instead go for a walk outside if the weather permits. It will get your blood flowing and your eyes also get a chance to rest.
- A five minute meditation do wonders. It will help you to achieve calmness and inner balance, plus you will mentally digest what you just did.
- Take a Social Break: Research has corroborated that firm social ties at the workplace increase productivity. So the next time you take a break, go to the coffee machine for a cup and join your colleagues in some banter. You’ll find this tactic reinforces your commitment.
- Power nap: Naps improve learning, memory, mental balance; it keeps your brain fit, increases creativity and productivity. For stress release, take a nap for 10-15 minutes.
- Read in your lunch breaks: Have lunch, enjoy the food (taste and smell it), have an interesting chat with colleagues and dive into a different world for 20-30 minutes. Maybe you want to read in an interesting book. It will do wonders and after this short time you will be mentally refreshed.
Most important thing to do is to take a short break after each task. It will give you the power to reflect on that what you have done and thus you will improve your performance almost automatically. It also will boost your happiness, success and inner balance.
Wish you all success, Jasmin Waldmann