The Science Of Taking Breaks At Work
Breaks recharge, replenish and regroup. So how come you still feel exhausted at work? Make it through your work day without feeling imprisoned by following expert advice on adult time-outs.
To-do lists are one of the most common ways to keep track of your planned day. Making these is a good habit to get into. But equally effective for a productive day is having an additional break list.
While making a checklist, we usually concentrate on things we have to do during the day.
And we desperately try to follow it, no matter what. But what we always forget to do is to relax
and take short breaks. Our brain is a machine, and as any machine, it needs to be stopped at some point to cool down. Otherwise, it’s going to burnout. Just like a machine, our brain needs to switch modes. Scientists points out two basic modes: the “focused mode” (it activates when we are studying, learning something new, writing and working) and “diffuse mode” (aka daydream mode, the one that activates when we are not thinking as hard).
Our brains need brief interruptions from work. Don’t underestimate the daydream mode. It is just as important for creativity and productivity.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to take breathers throughout your work day:
1. Pomodoro method
This method implies working in small bursts. This means you work for 25 minutes, and then take a break for 5 minutes. There are 4 Pomodoro sessions. So, once you are done with all of them, take a longer break for 30 minutes or so. Working like this helps you get rid of distractions and be more focused.
2. 90-minute work blocks
It’s said that working in 90-min intervals is more effective since it works with our bodies’ natural rhythms. To maximize productivity, we suggest you work for 90 minutes, and then take a 20-minute break.
3. The 52-17 method
Recent research indicates that this method could be the most productive schedule of all. Take Pomodoro method and 90-minute blocks, split it somewhere in between and you get yourself the ultimate work-break schedule. It basically works like this: work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break before getting back to work.
4. Two 15-minute breaks a day
If your work schedule is too hectic, and taking so many breaks doesn’t appeal to you, there’s still quite a simple yet effective solution. Make two brief 15-minute interruptions during a day and you’ll be fine. You should know that around 3 p.m. is the least productive time of day. So, interrupting for a break during this time is good.