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.
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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.
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.
Microbreaks give workers the license to indulge in what can look suspiciously like time-wasting.
They enable “psychological detachment”, which occurs when you mentally disengage from work-based tasks and allow your brain to recover: actively shifting the focus of your thoughts, so that you’re not mulling over work while you’re trying to chill out.
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.