You're Taking Breaks The Wrong Way, Here's How To Fix That
This style of working is unsustainable. We physically can’t work at 100% capacity, 100% of the time. We need breaks.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:
After analyzing 5.5 million daily records of how office workers are using their computer (based on what the user self-identified as “productive” work), they found that the top 10% of productive workers all worked an average of 52 minutes before taking a 17 minute break.
Intense focus actually makes us less focused in the long run. Instead of thinking about the problem without stop, we need to create distractions that take our attention away from the task at hand so we can come back at it with a fresh mind.
Studies show that just spending time in nature can help alleviate mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind. Additionally, increased exposure to sunlight and fresh air helps increase productivity and can even improve your sleep.
Simply being around natural elements can have the same effect.
Your brain works best with a consistent level of glucose in your blood–25 grams.
To keep your brain working at peak performance, opt for a snack on your break that includes a higher level of protein, such as a small serving of chicken, beef, or fish, nuts or nut butter, or a protein supplement.
Our eyes take the burden of much of our tech-fueled lives.Your eyes can begin to feel strain in as little as two hours.
Use a simple exercise that will help reduce your eye fatigue: 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes look away from your computer screen and focus on an item at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Daydreaming is a fantastic way for us to access our unconscious and allow ideas that have been silently incubating to bubble up into our conscious.
Meaning that while you think you’re doing nothing, you’re actually mining the depths of your mind for more creative solutions to the problems you’re facing.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
They refer to any brief activity that helps to break up the monotony of physically or mentally draining tasks.
They can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes a...
They can improve workers’ ability to concentrate, change the way they see their jobs, and even help them avoid the typical injuries that people get when they’re tied to their desks all day.
There’s no consensus on how long the ideal microbreak should last or how often you should have them; it’s up to you to experiment with what works best.
Tiny breaks are thought to help us to cope with long periods at our desks by taking the strain off certain body structures – such as the neck – that we’re using all day.
If you’re getting into microbreaks to give your body – rather than your brain – a rest, it’s best to do something physical like standing up or changing position.
one more idea
Research shows that humans naturally move from full focus and energy to physiological fatigue every 90 minutes.
Many different methods have been developed around the idea of work...
In addition to the science behind the productivity benefits of “pulse and pause”, many users of the technique feel the deadline approach provides added value.
Ian Cleary, founder of Razorsocial (an award-winning marketing technology blog): “When you have a deadline, you are more productive.”
Regular exercise improves our metabolism and increases energy levels. But many feel that including exercise within the workday is asking for too much—and that’s why using a longer break for simple exercise is so effective. Simple exercise could include a 20-minute power walk or a bike ride of similar length.
A good general rule of thumb is blocking out one-to-two-hour chunks of time in your calendar for uninterrupted work.
You have to stay committed to getting into the rhythm. It’s critical to ig...
Timeboxing is allocating a pre-determined amount of time to finish a given activity. It encourages you to find more efficient ways to finish tasks.
Recognize when you need to take a break and continue later on when you can be more effective. Signs that you need to take a break are:
Regardless of how you’re feeling, you should take a quick break every 90 minutes or two hours.
one more idea
9 more ideas
It is the feeling that your brain just won't function properly. People will describe it as brain fog. You can't concentrate, and simple tasks take too long. You find th...
Contributing factors to mental fatigue are poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or cognitive overload. Cognitive overload can take the following forms:
Your brain is fuelled with the same food as your muscles. What you eat has an enormous impact on your cognitive functioning.
5 more ideas
The optimal stress level for people to reach peak productivity is when they’re under some stress but not overloaded.
If stress levels are entering the...
When you stop fully concentrating on one thing and take a break from the problematic task, your subconscious mind is still working away in the background finding a solution.
Higher levels of stress often correlate with overthinking a particular subject, so if you want to make concrete logical connections without even trying – simply move on and it’ll likely come to you.
Human beings are naturally emotional and must stay self-critical in order to feel a full range of emotions to be healthy and productive.
To stay emotionally well, it has been found that pre-emptively taking breaks before they are needed can be an effective method to strike the perfect balance at work.
one more idea
Most adults function best after 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
When we get less than 7 hours, we’re impaired (to degrees that vary from person to person). When sleep persistently fa...
It's based on the idea that by partitioning your sleep into segments, you can get away with less of it.
Though it is possible to train oneself to sleep in spurts instead of a single nightly block, it does not seem possible to train oneself to need less sleep per 24-hour cycle.
Caffeine works primarily by blocking the action of a chemical called adenosine, which slows down our neural activity, allowing us to relax, rest, and sleep.
By interfering with it, caffeine cuts the brake lines of the brain’s alertness system. Eventually, if we don’t allow our body to relax, the buzz turns to anxiety.
2 more ideas
Three overarching principles apply to all productivity tips.
When you're trying to do many things at once, you're often getting very little done.
As best as you can, set up a work environment that encourages doing one task at a time. Even doing one task for five minutes can be beneficial:
The more we work on focusing on one task at a time, the easier it becomes to focus.
4 more ideas
Planning Fatigue appears because having to plan everything we have to do goes against how the unconscious brain has evolved.
Our minds have evolved to simplify our existence by automati...
Unconscious actions serve an evolutionary purpose. And they make our lives easier in many ways.
*When you're reading something for example, your mind is also filtering a huge amount of sensory information, scanning the environment for relevant stimuli (food starting to burn on the stove or someone screaming), and even processing internal stimuli like thoughts and emotions related to previous meetings and discussions. All of these processes occur simultaneously, some more automatically and with less conscious awareness than others. If we were to give all of them the same amount of focus and attention, they would overwhelm us.
William James described in the the late 19th century how mental processes that are abundantly practiced and rehearsed escape our awareness and begin operating autonomously and without conscious intentionality.
This post-conscious automaticity that James studies ensures that with practice, we can master new skills to a degree that we can eventually execute them with efficiency without having to overthink their every aspect.
one more idea
We're usually tempted to spend breaks doing things that are convenient but aren’t truly restful (internet shopping, browsing the latest news, etc.)
But brief work breaks are only genuinely rejuvenating when they give you the chance to fully switch off. Any kind of activity that involves willpower or concentration, even if it’s not in a work context, is only going to add to your fatigue levels.
The timing of our breaks makes a difference.
Although it may be tempting to wait until we’re flagging later in the day before allowing ourselves a short break, we actually respond better to breaks in the morning - it seems we need to have some fuel in the tank to benefit from a re-fill.
one more idea