The importance of breaks at work
In today’s hectic work space people suffer from various productivity issues. Everybody is pressed for time and the aim is to spend maximum amount of time and efforts towards achieving work goals and targets. Often we see managers professing the theory ‘More time you put in to work, more will be the productivity’. This theory would have been true if machines were doing the jobs expected of humans. As far as a human employee go, taking breaks is indispensable as it rejuvenates your mind and the lack of it can affect the productivity adversely.
Why do we need breaks
Mental concentration is not an eternal process and the intensity keeps deteriorating with time. Our brain uses enormous amounts of oxygen and glucose to function. Therefore it needs to be refreshed periodically after repeated usage so as it to reach its full potential again. Our brain doesn’t focus on something continuously for more than 90 minutes. Just like your body needs a break during a laborious physical activity, your brain too needs to recharge itself. It will lead to increased productivity, better decision making and enhanced creativity.
You are doing it wrong
For the computer driven workforce taking a break means grabbing a cup of coffee and scrolling through their twitter and facebook feed. It does help you take your mind off of work, but doesn’t help reboot the brain. Instead of discussing things via online chat, reach out to your colleagues in person. Its helps you break the monotony of sitting at your workstation. Take a break from technology, turn off your computer, get up and move around so that that blood flows through your body clearing your mind.
How to take a break
When your mind starts drifting or you find it difficult to concentrate on the job, you know its time for a break. Plan your breaks in a periodical fashion. Work in short bursts of 60 – 90 mins at a stretch and take a breather. Switch tasks by taking a break from technology and doing something that involves physical activity. Get off your chair, straighten your back and take a five minute walk outside. Refrain from using your phones during these short breaks as they sap the energy of your already exhausted brain. Take deep breaths as it helps in boosting the mood and reducing mental fatigue.
Make it a group activity
Spending time with your friends and colleagues is a great way to unwind. It boosts productivity and helps in open communication. Making it a social break helps positively as it gives you the necessary motivation that helps you to recharge yourself. Lunch breaks are very important as the longer duration allows you to replenish yourself nutritionally and provide rest to the brain.
Thought process is not a continuous process. Productivity plummets after a certain period and it is absolutely necessary that we don’t over exert our mind. Don’t be guilty of taking breaks as it is an accepted fact that a fresh mind can work better than a stressed one. Having said that, don’t indulge in the habit of taking too many extended breaks as it leads to procrastination, which is counter productive.