We Need Breaks - Deepstash

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You're Taking Breaks The Wrong Way, Here's How To Fix That

We Need Breaks

recent Apple ad celebrated entrepreneurs working so hard, they’re not able to see their children.

This style of working is unsustainable. We physically can’t work at 100% capacity, 100% of the time. We need breaks. 

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Microbreaks

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 and involve anything from making a cup of tea to stretching or watching a music video.

The power of microbreaks

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.

Why stretching matters

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.  

Recharging your energy
Just as you need to refuel your car and recharge the batteries in your cell phone, it’s important to give yourself the chance to recoup your energy levels throughout the workday.
Fully switch off

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.

Take short breaks early and often

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.

Pulse And Pause

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 and rest, including the 90-minute Technique, the Pomodoro Technique and the 52-17 Technique.

The important point isn’t the exact length of the sprint or the break, it’s to figure out what “pulse and pause” cycle works best for you

Work To A Deadline

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.”

Think Healthy

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.