5 Reasons Taking Breaks Promotes Productivity

Sometimes, it does feel easier to work straight through a day without taking breaks. When you have work that you simply want to get done, it can feel so much easier than stopping every now and then and breaking your concentration. However, in doing so, we do not allow ourselves to be as productive as we possibly can be. Sure, it feels like we are working better, but the reality is our minds have difficulty putting energy into tasks over extended periods of time. We need to give ourselves breaks throughout the day to be at our most optimal level of productivity.

Here are a few ways to make sure you are giving yourself some needed breaks.

1. Schedule Breaks In Your Day

It's a sure fire way to make sure you don’t run out of time to work, but also to make sure that you take the time give your mind a rest. If you do not like the idea of unplanned, unorganized breaks, then planning them will help you alleviate that feeling. You are more likely to take a few minutes break if you plan them into your schedule every hour and a half or so, allowing you to focus your mind on something else and return to your work ready to go again.

2. Taking Naps

Naps are often seen as the bane of productivity! When you're feeling especially warm and lethargic, a nap seems to beckon at you from the pits of procrastination. But taking a nap is actually one of the best ways to keep yourself alert and energized. Taking a 20-30 minute nap during lunch can make you feel more awake. Taking only 20-30 minutes to sleep in the afternoon is effective because it does not interfere with your REM cycle; twenty minutes is long enough for you to regain some energy but short enough to keep you from going into a deeper sleep and awake feeling drowsy and more tired than before. Just don’t rely too heavily on napping, since your body needs to actually sleep well at night to function!

3. Walk Around

Getting up and moving around is a great way to take a short break. Walk around your office a bit, talk to people, or look outside. Getting up to walk helps keep your blood flowing and allows your body to re-cooperate from an extended period of sitting. Walking around to visit a few coworkers for a few minutes of conversation regarding your weekend/evening plans, sports, or current events also helps your mind focus on something else for a short period and allows you to collect your thoughts. Taking a few extra minutes to go walk outside and get some fresh air is a great idea too.

4. Exercise

If you work somewhere with a gym this might a bit easier, but using a small portion of your lunch break to exercise can help you combat a bit of the fatigue you might feel towards the end of the day. Exercising during the day helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure level and, along with water and a healthy lunch, keeps your body energized so you can focus more easily for the rest of the day. If your office doesn’t have a gym, there are certainly workouts you can give a go on your own. Head out to the closest green space and do a quick routine.

5. Casual Breaks

So, perhaps you are not the biggest planner and you’d rather feel out when to take your breaks. That is totally fine, just be sure you are giving yourself enough time to get the mental rest you need! When you start to feel a little strained, stand up for a bit and get away from the screen. Go get water or other drinks from time to time. To put it simply, just be sure not to focus too much on your work when you’re at work!