Today, more and more people at work focus on improving productivity rather than working hours.
If you continue to work without taking a break from the morning, you will be exhausted at 3 pm. However, if we take a break too long and inadvertently watch SNS for two hours, we will lose our concentration and productivity will drop.
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Fixed rest times at the end and beginning, such as holidays and paid holidays, play a huge role in human rest.
However, humans find it surprisingly difficult to take a short break during a day’s work.
Due to factors such as deadlines, boss’s eyes, and guilt, we tend to keep working without rest.
On the other hand, if the break is too long, we lose our concentration.
However, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen states that taking proper breaks, even at work, results in increased productivity.
Below are seven recommendations for breaks during work, claimed by Dr. Ellen Hendriksen.
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Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen explains that you also need to take appropriate breaks to focus on your work.
7 Strategies to Maximize a Break Without Losing Focus
◆1: Any Break Is Better Than No Break
Many people think that watching videos, listening to music, and playing games during breaks can lead to a loss of concentration.
But according to Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, “no matter what kind of break you have, resting your work results in increased productivity.”
A 2017 study explores how breaks affect productivity by having two groups perform a 45-minute task that requires concentration.
Have one group perform the task without a break, and another group in the middle of the task, such as “playing a game on a smartphone”, “sitting silently”, “listening to a song”, “watching a video”. I had them take a break for 5 minutes.
The results showed that groups that took breaks of any type performed better than groups that did not take breaks at all.
Dr. Ellen Hendriksen believes that ” Any Break Is Better Than No Break “
◆2: Make Your Break Different Than Your Work
Humans are creatures that eventually become accustomed to the continuous stimuli.
People who live in busy areas will soon be reluctant to hear the noise of cars driving in front of their house.
The same is true for work, and even if you are involved in an exciting project, it is difficult for people to get inspired if they are engaged in the same work all the time.
Researchers at the University of Illinois claim that taking appropriate breaks during work “can reset cognitive goals and regain work stimulus.”
For example, if you are looking at the screen all day long, it is more effective to do a distraction (walking or light exercise) that does not look at the screen during breaks.
◆3: But Take Breaks That Keep You in a Work Mindset
If you are too absorbed in the breaks you take during work, you will start to see unexpected effects.
We are completely discouraged from work, or unexpected times have passed.
Dr. Ellen Hendriksen argues that “doing productive but simple tasks” is also a good place to take a break.
For example, sorting emails or booking plane tickets for private trips.
Tasks that we don’t need to use our brains seem to be able to rest our brains without breaking our attitude towards work.
◆4: Take a Microbreak
When we think that we have to take a break, we will try to secure a cohesive time such as 10 minutes or 15 minutes at a time.
But if you’re taking a break to focus more on your work rather than recovering from fatigue and preparing for your next job, you don’t need to spend a lot of time.
In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne, subjects were tasked with a series of tasks that required them to keep looking at the PC screen.
And while I was working, I showed a picture of “a rooftop full of flowers and greenery” for only 40 seconds.
As a result, the group who saw the pictures that felt nature was able to significantly reduce mistakes in their work.
From this result, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen says, even during real-life work, you can increase your productivity just by standing by the window for a minute and looking at the green outside.
◆5: Trade the Midafternoon Slump for a Morning Break
Many desk workers work longer in the afternoon than in the morning. Therefore, I would like to take a break such as drinking coffee or eating sweets around 3 pm.
However, a study from the Journal of Applied Psychology found that taking a break in the morning was more productive than taking a break in the afternoon.
You are already exhausted by 3 pm. Even if you take a break, you cannot regain high productivity.
It seems that we can do the management work that does not require a brain and the work such as exchanging emails.
People are most focused in the morning, so taking a break at 10am or 11am can help them regain their highest productivity at 9am levels.
◆6: Don’t Break Flow
It seems that humans do not have to have the idea that they must take a break.
Dr. Ellen Hendriksen says that you don’t have to follow the cycle of rigorously focusing on work for 25 minutes and then resting for 5 minutes.
◆7: But When It’s Time to Rest, Rest Like You Mean It
Today, in our society, the development of devices such as notebook PCs and smartphones, and the spread of message apps and task management apps have progressed.
But even on holidays, people feel like they have to reply when they get a job call.
Unlike breaks at work, we don’t have to rest on holidays and vacations while staying focused on our work.
Even if you have work left on weekdays, it’s also important to block work-related tasks on holidays.
It is important to be aware that holidays are not days when you work leisurely, but days when you do not work completely.
“It’s important to challenge what you want to do and spend time with family and friends,” said Dr. Ellen Hendriksen.