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7 ways to organize a productive work break
7 ways to organize a productive work break

If after the break you still feel tired, lost, and unproductive, then you have not rested properly. Use these tips to help you take advantage of your breaks.

7 ways to organize a productive work break
7 ways to organize a productive work break

1. Take a break every 52 minutes

We often struggle with our own productivity-killing habits. For example, with the desire to check social networks, instead of doing work. To do this, you need to stay focused and exercise willpower all day. And good rest is necessary for effective work.

Time management techniques such as Pomodoro involve dividing working hours into active work and breaks. These work "races", interspersed with rest, really increase productivity. However, how much time should elapse between them?

According to the Pomodoro technique, you should take a 5-minute break after 25 minutes of work, and after four such sets, you should take a longer rest. But the creators of the DeskTime Internet service, through numerous studies, have revealed completely different numbers.

They found that the most productive employees divide their time in this way: 52 minutes of focused work and 17 minutes of rest.

The effectiveness of this technique is due to several reasons:

  • Knowing that a break is coming soon makes you work more focused and focused.
  • If you work hard for more than 52 minutes, it can lead to loss of performance.
  • Sitting still for eight hours a day is unhealthy. Regular physical activity during the working day has a positive effect on both health and the ability to concentrate.

2. Switch attention

Research proves that by doing our best to focus on something, we only make things worse. Alejandro Lleras, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, found that when we constantly focus on one particular thought, our brain ceases to perceive it.

Instead of constantly struggling to solve the problem, you need to periodically distract from these thoughts. Switch your attention to something else. During such a break, it is advisable to perform several tasks in order to completely forget about work. After that, you will return to solving the problem with renewed vigor.

3. Get out into fresh air

Many spend whole days in offices. However, even a few minutes a day spent outside the walls of the room can have a positive effect on well-being and performance.

Research shows that being in nature can help combat overwork. Exposure to the sun and fresh air increases productivity and improves sleep quality. The researchers found that employees who work in natural light most of the day sleep about 46 minutes longer at night than those who see less sunlight during the day.

If you are unable to leave the premises and take a walk during your break, surround yourself with natural elements. For example, place plant pots on your work table.

4. Eat Brain-Healthy Foods

When we are hungry, the hormone ghrelin, produced in the gastrointestinal tract, signals neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the brain that the body's energy levels are low and the body needs food. NPY is located in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that is responsible for memory, emotions, and feelings of hunger, thirst, and fatigue. It is neuropeptide Y that reminds the body to recharge and increase energy levels.

Food supplies the body with glucose, which is fuel for the brain. A stable blood glucose level is 25 g. If the level is not lowered, the brain works as usual.

It would seem that you can get these necessary 25 g by eating a nutritious bar, a banana, or foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread, rice or pasta. However, scientists have found that protein foods can also quickly raise blood glucose levels. Protein serves as a source of energy for our body. In addition, this nutrient improves cognitive performance and maintains this increased level for longer than other macronutrients.

To keep your brain working at full capacity, include high-protein foods in your diet. During the break, you can eat a bite of chicken, beef, fish, nuts, or a protein bar.

5. Exercise your eyes

The eyes are under enormous strain. Many people spend 6-9 hours a day at the computer, although their eyes get tired after a couple of hours of such work. This is why it is so important to take breaks and look away from the monitor.

Every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, look at an object about six meters away from you. This simple exercise will help you maintain your vision.

The lighting in the room should match the brightness of the computer screen in brightness. The monitor should be anti-reflective, especially if the table is by the window. It is very important to organize your workspace so that you feel comfortable there.

6. Do a warm-up

Physical activity energizes, relieves fatigue and increases productivity. Scientists from the University of São Paulo have found that just 10 minutes of exercise is enough to improve memory and concentration.

If you don't have the opportunity to do the exercises, at least just walk during the break. A simple walk can also refresh your memory and boost your creativity.

7. Sit Down and Free Your Thoughts

Simply doing nothing during a work break also pays off. Letting go of thoughts and hanging in the clouds is similar to meditation, according to research.

When we stop focusing on something and are inactive, the network of the passive mode of the brain is activated. At this time, the prefrontal cortex of the brain rests - a department responsible for many functions: memory, cognition, logic and problem solving.

By completely disconnecting from work concerns, you can come up with solutions to long-standing problems. Often, it is in a state of inaction and hovering in the clouds that breakthrough ideas come in.