The brain is like a muscle. And similar to a muscle it needs time to rest and repair after excessive use. Heavy concentration tires out your brain much like an intense exercise session would tire your muscles.
Taking regular breaks can affect your productivity in ways which you would never expect. Aside from making you more effective, taking breaks can also decrease stress and promote better job satisfaction.
Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the building for a walk or heading to the nearest coffee shop. Taking a break can be as simple and quick as changing your task for a short time. Breaking up your day with a variety of activities will help to enhance your efficiency.
Brief distractions from a high-concentration task can help you to refocus for longer periods of time. So whilst we don’t advocate excessive distraction, sometimes allowing yourself to be distracted for a short amount of time can give your brain the rest it needs to refresh you to carry on with what you are doing.
Breaking from your task can also help to relieve eye strain and muscle tension.
59% of respondents to a recent survey thought that regular breaks would improve happiness, whilst 37% said that taking a break was beneficial to your health.
So here’s 8 short, easy and effective workplace productivity tips.
- Take a walking meeting
- Schedule in regular times to walk away from your desk
- Head out-of-doors at least once a day. Even collecting something from your car can give you a boost
- Vary your working position. Stand and sit to get more variety into your day
- Set a timer and work for shorter periods of time, broken up by regular breaks
- Take the time to tidy up your desk or drawer.
- Try doing nothing for 2 minutes. Don’t move your mouse or touch your keyboard otherwise the timer will start over again!
- Take a short nap. A power nap has been proved to increase alertness by up to 34%
Taking a lunch break away from your desk is also fundamentally important. Only 1 in 5 people are reported to stop for lunch. Not stopping for lunch has a greater negative effect on your productivity than not being present in the office for the few minutes that you take out.
And before we go, it’s good to remember that breaks are most effective when they are taken just before they are needed.
Schedule in some breaks today – see how much more you can achieve by charging your batteries every day.