Work Hard, Rest Fun: How to Take a Break From Work
Work breaks are important! Imagine that two employees work in an office from nine o’clock to seven o’clock in the evening. The first rests only 20 minutes during lunch. The second has lunch for 40 minutes, sleeps for 15 minutes after lunch, goes out for a short walk closer to five in the afternoon, and takes short breaks the rest of the time.
That is, he works almost two hours less. But he gets a lot more done because by four o’clock, he is already so tired that his productivity is very low, his attention is scattered, and he is easily distracted.
To keep your work from turning into visibility, to feel energetic for the rest of the day, we prepared an article on proper rest based on materials from our novelty book.
Take a Minute Break
During short work breaks, do short physical exercises whenever possible. A barbell is also good – some people have one in the office. If you work at home, it’s even easier: you can install the horizontal bar in the doorway or buy one that is not attached to the walls and is installed on the floor.
A physical minute is better than a passive break when you continue to stay at the computer but switch from work to entertainment content, for example playing games or surfing memes.
If physical activity is really not desired, the free minute can be spent on the contemplation of nature. Many studies have confirmed what is intuitively clear: staying in nature improves health, focus, and concentration. But how do you get to nature in the middle of a workday, and in the middle of a big city?
A study published in the scientific journal Environmental Psychology found that people simply looking at nature pictures for 40 seconds improved focus and reduced stress levels. They didn’t even have to go out. Of course, being in nature is better, but a good photo will do for a fish out of the water. Set yourself a favourite view as your desktop wallpaper – and set a timer for 40-60 seconds when you need to relax.
Take Short Breaks Every Hour
Pomodoro is a well-known and simple method to increase productivity. Everything is simple: you set a timer for some time, work without distraction, focusing on your task, then take a break for 5-10 minutes, then start the timer again. And after several approaches, you take a longer break or have lunch.
The most important thing in this technique is complete concentration on your work and a mandatory rest after each session, when you completely distract yourself, take a walk, breathe fresh air, drink coffee, etc.
Rest is necessary, even if you do not want to rest yet. Don’t get to the point where you have no energy left – it’s better to replenish them regularly. Technical equipment for Pomodoro is almost not required: a simple timer in your phone or watch will do.
If you really want to, you can download one of the many mobile apps that will give you more options besides the timer, like the ability to see your stats.
There are also add-ons for popular browsers, and if you tend to be distracted by social networks, they can be useful: in them, you can set up a list of banned sites, which will disabled during concentrated work. And it will be impossible to turn it off!
And during the break, you can read social networks and other sites that interfere with your work. But it’s better not to spend the entire break in the browser – take a walk, stretch out, change positions.
During the workday, plan long breaks as well. At the very least, take a lunch break to talk to your colleagues about non-work topics, meet with friends, read a book, or simply be alone with your thoughts. If possible, have an afternoon nap as well. NASA research on the effects of daytime sleep on pilot performance has shown that 26 minutes of sleep increases performance by 34 percent.
The exact numbers sound convincing, but that’s not the point. It does work – and has been tested by so many people.
Even 10 to 12 minutes of sleep makes two days of work. And without them, the second half of the normal workday becomes not very productive – after lunch, around two o’clock, activity decreases, it makes you sleepy.
But after a short nap, a new workday begins.
Yes, the first fifteen minutes after awakening you will feel a little sleepy. Coffee helps will help in such cases. Some people drink coffee before a daytime nap, set the alarm for 15-20 minutes, and wake up just when the caffeine enters the bloodstream. This is aerobatics, but it’s worth a try – scientists have proven that the so-called coffee nap invigorates better than coffee or daytime sleep alone.
Combine work and rest, and may your energy never run out!