IT used to be said that those who worked for long hours without any intermission were considered hardworking and productive, but that’s not really the case.
More scientific studies have shown that taking regular breaks from work can help us improve and maintain our focus, motivation, creativity, and overall productivity.
Some of them also revealed that how we take our time out matters too; and while a nap is one of the best ways to spend during our breaks, it isn’t the only one.
Thus, to avoid getting distracted and bored or experience burnout from your work, here are some other methods to consider for taking effective breaks.
Plan your break
To reap the benefits of having a work-break balance, you need to decide how often you should have them.
Some studies suggest having a ‘25/5-minute plan’ (25 minutes of working and a five-minute break, and then a longer break after four cycles), others a ‘50/10-minute plan’, or even a ‘52/17-minute plan’.
Whichever plan you find suits you the most, following it enables you to have greater focus at work, so long as you are disciplined and committed to having time for yourself.
Keep up with your reading
Reading allows you to gain more knowledge and reduce stress, among many other benefits.
Therefore, during your break, read stories that inspire you, articles that you’ve wanted to read, or even something unrelated to your work.
Magazines, books, or newspapers can do you good too, because they let you give your eyes a rest from looking at screens on your computer or mobile devices for too long.
Have a snack
Junk food like crackers or sweets might give you the immediate kick you need to work, but they won’t last long and won’t help flatter your waistline.
Instead, munch on small portions of healthy snacks such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dark chocolate. They not only help restore your energy and boost your brainpower, but also keep you healthier for the long haul.
Assuming that your work involves a lot of sitting or staying in one position, doing light exercises during your break allows blood and oxygen to flow in your body continuously and tight muscles to loosen.
Be it basic stretches, walks in or outside your office, or some calisthenics, these movements also help lower the likelihood of having physical aches and pains as you grow older and, most important, make you feel good.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.