Learn To Take ‘Real Breaks’ To Stay Motivated

Learn To Take ‘Real Breaks’ To Stay Motivated

If you find your attention wandering over the course of the day, and you have a difficult time staying engaged and motivated with your tasks, the secret may be in planning specific times where you dive into your work, and other times where you take real breaks — as in times when you do something completely unrelated to your job to recharge.

Photo by Morgan.

Jonathan Milligan, writing at Simple Life Habits, describes that his usual day is a mix of 90-minute “focus sessions”, where he works intensely on the tasks at hand, and then 30-minute “real breaks”, where he gets up and does something to recharge, like going for a quick walk, some light exercise or reading a book.

Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the type of job you have. Not everyone can afford to work for 90 minutes and break for 30 repeatedly over the course of the day, but there is something to be said for taking time to really recharge more than once every day. Doing so helps you come back to you work actually refreshed and ready to start again instead of forcing yourself into picking up where you left off before you ran to the deli for lunch.

Milligan’s method reminds me a bit of the Pomodoro Technique, which many of you have said you use. Do you work independently enough that you can recharge more often than just lunch? How do you stay motivated through the day? Share your tips in the comments.

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  • Shifting to another task before I hit a wall keeps me going. I first discovered this playing Sudoku. I took a break from the game to do something else and when I came back it was all so obvious. I do it all the time now (shifting not Sudoku!).

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