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  • WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON October 14,2015

We live in an age where productivity is at its peak, but as you might be aware, this often leads to a stressful work environment where anything less than your best can be considered slacking. You might have several tasks that need to be completed today, but we’re sure you can take the time to read this blog about giving yourself a break once in awhile. You might find that breaks are absolutely crucial to both your creative and physical well being.

In other words, by not taking any breaks at all during the workday, even to eat your lunch or to take a breather, it can have negative effects on your work persona and your health. You shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t step away from your desk for even a moment. By refusing to take a break, you’re really just stifling your true work potential. According to FastCompany, there are three specific reasons you should take regular breaks.

  • Working too hard can lead to boredom or loss of focus. No matter what you’re doing, or how well you can focus on something, you’re bound to grow bored of it eventually; especially when working on the same project for several hours a day. This, naturally, leads to you losing interest in it and becoming unfocused. When you’re not focused on the work at hand, it can lead to mistakes, which eventually will cost you a pretty penny when it comes time to resolve the mistakes. Therefore, the best way to avoid this situation is to take periodic breaks that are designed to recharge and refresh the mind.
  • Breaks are proven to help people retain information. When working, the brain enters a “focused mode,” which is used for performing intensive tasks. However, there have been times when the “diffuse mode” (the one which is used when not focusing on something in particular) allows people to solve a problem. This is commonly seen in the “Eureka!” moment that you might have while in the shower or while on the road.
  • Breaks provide time for reflection. If you’re stuck on a certain aspect of a project, taking a momentary respite can allow you time to consider things you might not have been able to before. You can potentially break whatever’s blocking you from getting more work done by taking a breather and using the moment to calmly analyze your situation.

Additionally, breaks can also increase employee satisfaction and camaraderie. When individuals from different departments or teams mingle by the water cooler, so to speak, it can produce additional synergy.

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.
  • Do some calisthenics. Why not?
  • Anything other than work.

Hopefully. we’ve opened your eyes to the importance of resting and taking a break at the workplace. Even the busy business owner needs a moment to catch their breath once in a while. What are some of your favorite ways to push past the exhaustion barrier and stay productive in the workplace? What are some of your favorite ways to spend a break period? Let us know in the comments.

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