Because time is so precious and our lives are busier than ever, we probably all are inclined to try to push through our workdays and get as much done as possible, noses to the proverbial grindstone. But skipping breaks may actually be counterproductive, says the New York Times.
Photo by DoctorKan (Shutterstock).
We know that taking breaks from work is important to stay motivated and focused at work, as well as reduce eye strain and stay active (if we actually get up from our desk chairs). Working in focused 90-minute stretches with breaks in between can help you get more done in less time than working all day long.
The New York Times explains the science behind this:
Mental concentration is similar to a muscle, says John P. Trougakos, an assistant management professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School of Management. It becomes fatigued after sustained use and needs a rest period before it can recover, he explains – much as a weight lifter needs rest before doing a second round of repetitions at the gym.
Although you might feel guilty about taking what feel like too many breaks at work, these recharging sessions are really essential for efficient, productive work — even just to keep projects on schedule. You don’t have to force yourself to take a break if you’re on a roll, but if you find yourself drifting or daydreaming, it’s time to get up (or maybe even take a nap).
Now’s a good time to schedule your relaxation and break times. Do you get enough breaks during the day?
To Stay on Schedule, Take a Break [New York Times]