We all know that taking breaks helps increase productivity, but that doesn't mean it's easy to actually do. Harvard Business Review suggests simply slotting two 15-minute breaks into your day to make sure you're always on top of things.
The idea here is nothing new to anyone who's worked in the service industry. Two 15-minute breaks give you plenty of time to relax and get your energy back. Harvard Business Review has a few suggestions for when and how to do it:
The challenge, of course, is finding the time to step away for 15 minutes, or — even when we have the time — getting good at dragging ourselves away from our computers preemptively, before we're depleted. One approach that can help involves blocking out a couple of planned 15-minute intermissions on your calendar, one in the mid-morning and the other in the mid-afternoon.
Next, find something active you can do with this time and put it on your calendar. Take a walk, stretch while listening to a song, or go out with a coworker for a snack. If these activities strike you as too passive, use the time to run an errand. The critical thing is to step away from your computer so that your focus is relaxed and your mind drifts. (So no, checking Facebook does not count.)
So, go ahead and schedule that break in right now. It's a lot better than waiting until you're already burnt out.
Schedule a 15-Minute Break Before You Burn Out [Harvard Business Review]