BrightWire Networks blog
Tip of the Week: It Seems Counterproductive, But Taking Breaks Actually Improves Productivity
Today’s workplace productivity has reached a peak, but thanks to this enhanced amount of work, the office environment can often feel hectic and stressful. This usually leads to workers skipping breaks just so that they don’t fall behind. While this maintains the semblance of productivity, it can often lead to a significant decrease in creativity and physical health.
Basically, you need to be taking regular breaks during the workday. If you don’t, the quality of your work is going to suffer, and the negative side-effects of working too much will stress out both your mind and your body. Don’t continue to work at half-capacity because you don’t think you can afford to take a break. According to FastCompany, there are three specific reasons you should take regular breaks.
- Working hard on the same thing for too long can lead to boredom and a lack of focus. Even if it’s something you enjoy, working on a project for too long will inevitably grow boring, and your mind will drift somewhere else. This can jeopardize your ability to work effectively, and limit what you can accomplish significantly.
- Unfocused work will lead to mistakes that will take time to resolve, and it can effectively ruin your budget with unexpected time expenses. Therefore, it’s important to take a breather in order to remain attentive and focused.
- Breaks can help you retain information. While the brain is in a “focused mode” required for work, you can perform intensive tasks much easier. However, there are times when the “diffuse mode,” is more effective for problem solving. The “diffuse mode” is similar to the “Eureka!” moment you might get when attempting to solve a problem, where the brain isn’t necessarily focused on something as intently as it is during its “focused mode.”
- Breaks allow for reflection. If you’re having trouble making progress on a project, it’s to your benefit to take a moment and reflect on what works, what doesn’t work, and what you can do to make it better. These breaks should be taken when you need to calmly analyze the situation to find a resolution.
Breaks are also well-known ways to keep your employees happy and to get them to engage with each other in inter-office communication. Your employees can promote synergy off the clock, too, and they’ll get to know each other better.
There are all sorts of methods that you can use to try and take more breaks during work in order to maximize your own productivity. There’s the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in rapid intervals and then take brief five-minute breaks. After four Pomodoro sessions, you take a longer 30-minute break. There’s also the 90-minute block method, which allows for 90-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks in between. The final option is an in-between choice for the first two, which uses the 52-on and 17-off approach.
Now that you’re finally taking a break, let’s see what you could do during your moment of rest:
- Go for a walk.
- Just sit there and relax.
- Grab a snack.
- Read a book.
- Take a short nap.
- Make memes.
- Do some calisthenics. Why not?
- Anything other than work.
So, there you have it. You need to be taking your breaks, and so do your employees. Do you have any best practices or suggestions for break-taking activities? Let us know in the comments.