The workplace is a very demanding place; you need to put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work if you want to see yourself move up in the world. The reality is, however, that the human brain is not cut out for working for hours on end and being super-stressed and this is why taking breaks at work is essential.
Breaks are pretty much the only thing that can save you from a burnout without costing you your career and most successful people would agree because working hard is not about taking zero breaks, it’s about making the most of your brain’s power hours. And in order for your brain to have power hours you need to allow it to have some downtime to relax.
Taking breaks at work may seem complicated and it may seem counterintuitive, but if you really want to succeed in your industry, breaks can help you get there much faster. To help you out we’ve put together a how-to guide to help you with taking breaks at work.
1. Take a Break Every 60 Minutes
Our attention spans are short; in fact research says that human attention span is now shorter than a goldfish’s attention span, which proves how taxing it is for our brain to work on the same task for a long period of time.
Of course that’s not to say that you should take a break every 10 seconds because how would you ever get any work done that way? But taking a break every one hour or so can help you work more intensely and it can help you work better.
If you have to deal with a series of tasks throughout the day, you may want to take a break after every task you finish in order to clear your mind and proceed to your next task with a refreshed mind.
2. Take 10 Minute Breaks
The longer your break is the better for your brain obviously, but since we can’t take really long breaks at work without feeling guilty and you don’t want to stay at work longer than you have to after all just to take longer breaks, you have to settle for shorter breaks that will help your brain relax.
Try having ten minute breaks every one hour and you will see wonders in your productivity levels. Even though you’ll be skipping about an hour’s work per day you’ll get more done during the day than ever before because our brains need to rest in order to work to their full potential.
3. What to Do During Your Breaks
Most of us take breaks from work to work on other tasks. We think that switching tasks equates to break time, but the reality is that in order for your brain to remain stress-free for even ten minutes you need to allow it to not be preoccupied with work.
You can spend those ten minutes reading your favourite blog, or watching something on Youtube, but since you are taking a brain to relax your brain, why not give your eyes a rest, too? Get up and stretch your legs, get yourself a drink and talk to one of your colleagues for a while. Even just standing by the window gazing at the world outside can give your brain a boost so make sure that you are making the most of your break.
4. Don’t Skip on Your Breaks
The workplace can be a pretty stressful environment for all of us and since we can’t escape it it’s important to learn how to de-stress while at work.
Skipping out on your breaks may be your instinctive reaction at the beginning because no one who’s interested in their careers wants to be a slacker at work, but don’t see it as slacking. Understand that taking breaks will help you be more productive so embrace your breaks and see them as an opportunity to take a deep breath at work.
Taking breaks at work may seem counterproductive but the reality is that it can boost your productivity levels. Make it a point to take regular breaks at work and not only will you feel more rested at the end of the day, but you’ll also be more enthusiastic about your work.
Do you take breaks at work? Have you seen your productivity levels improve? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below.