To complete a big project, we all require time, energy, discipline and willpower. But what if someone tells you that breaks are equally important?
Boosting productivity with breaks sounds counterintuitive. Shifting your mind helps you in thinking differently. Breaks help you to renew your focus. Strategic breaks enhance one’s overall work experience.
Here, we will discuss how strategic breaks can boost your productivity. Strategic breaks, short enough to avoid you to do anything and long enough to fully refresh oneself can help you in several ways.
1. Increased Productivity
While doing goal-oriented work including decision making, executive functioning and logical thinking, our prefrontal cortex is involved. Giving continuous attention to a project strains our prefrontal cortex tremendously. Therefore, it is recommended to take breaks as strategic breaks can help prevent decision fatigue.
2. Better Mental Health
Constant focus can result in a higher risk of heart failure, depression, anxiety and obesity. Stress is the most common problem in any workplace as it causes detrimental effects on managers, employees and the organisation itself. After the completion of any project, one should take off as it resets your mood by releasing dopamine, reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.
3. Boosted Creativity
Whenever struggling with a task, take a small break. This does miracle as it helps you to think differently and smartly. This is beneficial when you have to start a new project after the completion of one project.
4. Reduced Boredom
Breaks keep us from getting bored. When we are engrossed into a task, with the ideas flowing continuously we feel great. But this doesn’t last long as you move out of your productivity zone. It leads to unfocus as our brain is designed for extended hour work. But this can be simply fixed by taking breaks.
5. Reevaluation of Our Goals
When we take a break, we kind of allow ourselves to take a step back and check whether we are moving in the right direction or not. Breaks help you to reevaluate the global goal of your task.
Now, after knowing how breaks can help you grow, do you find it difficult to implement it in your daily work life? So, here are a few methods which might be helpful to you.
1. 90 Minute Work Blocks
Our body operated on cycles called ultradian rhythms. During each cycle, there is a trough and a peak. A peak – when we are most energized and a trough – when we are exhausted.
Our brain an only focus for 90 to 120 minutes at a time. Afterwards, to achieve high performance, we need to take a break for 20 minutes. The 90 minute period is the productive sprint where you focus only on one task. At the end of the sprint, you take a break and then start with another task.
2. Pomodoro Method
This is a very effective technique which encourages people to work with the time they have and not against it. In this method, you break your day into 25 minutes small chunks with five minutes breaks. This is termed as Pomodoros. After four pomodoros, take a 15-20 minutes break. This technique instills a sense of urgency.
So, next time when you plan a break do not feel guilty thinking that it would affect your focus.
You can also understand the importance of strategic breaks from this book recommended by our book reviewer.
Share your experiences in the comments below.