5 October 2018
How long have you been at your desk or in and out of meetings? When was the last time you stopped and changed from work mode to something else? It is absolutely impossible to sit in the same spot from 9am – 5pm (if not longer!) and maintain your focus. Here are a few reasons why you should log off and take a break…
We’ve all heard of writer’s block, of losing focus and hitting a mental wall. For me, the only way to get past this is to change my environment, to think about something different for a while. Often after a quick chat about something else, or taking a walk, I come back to the same task with a new perspective on how to tackle the problem.
It is estimated that the human brain can only concentrate on a focussed task for 10 -20 minutes, so why do you expect to stay productive if you’re working every moment of the day without giving your brain a chance to reboot?
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign carried out a study on productivity. Studying groups of people, they set a brain-intensive task for them to work on for 50 minutes. Ultimately, the group that took the most breaks had the highest mental stamina at the end of the 50 minutes.
Mental health and wellbeing
Not giving yourself time to rest, to switch off, is a sure-fire way to increase stress and anxiety. Your body simply isn’t designed to cope with ongoing high levels of stress – you end up constantly on edge and put your mental health at risk. Taking time out allows us to redress the balance and take better care of ourselves. That could be with a session in the gym, a moment to read a book, or even a quick nap.
Staring at the same four walls, watching the clock, is soul destroying. Taking a break with a change of scenery reignites that spark of inspiration; you see new faces, new places, instead of the same four walls and the same people in your team. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, a third at leisure and a third at work – should a third of our time really be spent staring at a screen while sitting in the same spot? No! Get out and make more of your day!
What are your tips for taking a break and boosting your productivity?