Is the “I’ll sleep when I die” trend still going, or has everyone agreed with the science that we need to sleep to survive? While more and more people are embracing the need for rest, many of us continue to work non-stop, without taking enough recovery time. Are you the type to take breaks, or push through even when you might need one?
If you’re feeling like you’re not as productive as you can be at work, tasks keep getting put off, or you’re feeling more drained than accomplished, you may not be taking enough breaks. Just like we need to sleep, we need to take breaks to rest our body and minds as well.
Here are five different reasons backed by research that shows how breaks actually increase our productivity.
Increases Work Productivity
Our brains can only handle so much focus and stimulation before actually go a little numb. For example, after studying a book for over an hour, this is why it may seem difficult to get past a page without reading it over multiple times. Research shows that those who take a break every hour actually preform better than those who don’t. Give your brain a second to “chill out” and come back to work recharged with a new sense of meaning. Try the Pomodoro Method: work without distraction for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break before going back into another 25 minutes of productivity!
Fuel For Creativity
Trying to be creative when looking at something the same way is difficult. Taking a few minutes to talk to a peer, watch a motivational video, or just stop what you’re doing for a second to give yourself a boost. You cannot continue to be creative if you are working on empty!
Physical Movement Prevents Mental Stagnation
Get up and doing something allows oxygen and blood to flow back to our brains after being sedentary for some time. Our bodies were designed to move, not to sit all day.
Tea Breaks Gives More Than A Caffeine Boost
Tea time! It’s not only the health benefits of the ingredients of tea, but also the process. While tea can take some time to make, it allows you to take a second to be mindful and slow down for a second. Try staying present in the process of making the tea, instead of thinking about what you have to do after the tea is made. Bonus: If you are making herbal tea, this counts toward your daily water intake!
Work Hard, Play Hard
Have you ever worked out and fell extremely productive afterwards? (this is actually me after every workout, which is one reason why I opt to workout in the mornings) Studies have shown that a moderate level of cardio activity can boost both productivity and creativity. This boost can last up to two hours after working out. Even the change of scenery and activity can help put your brain in the mindset to excel.
Take a break, take it with a friend, or get moving while taking it!
Article written by GUADS member Breanna with contributions from huffingtonpost.com