Many administrators believe that the best way to maximize productivity and efficiency during the work period is to use every available minute. Despite this, several studies have shown that strategic breaks increase productivity and there are several hobbies available to make the most of them.
Working too long without a break is error-prone because of the way the brain works
Several modern studies have shown that staying in the same position or performing repetitive tasks for a long time impairs both the body and the ability to concentrate.
This means that regardless of whether the task being performed is related to filling in data in a computer program or checking that a supermarket stock is correct, working long enough without taking a break increases the amount of errors due to physical or mental fatigue and in some cases, such as operating heavy machinery, it can even compromise the safety of the working environment.
This is because the human brain has two main modes of operation, which are respectively focused on paying attention to how a task should be done and on consolidating and executing what has been learned.
In this way, taking frequent breaks during the workday helps the brain to learn more and to retain much better the information it has processed, as there is an interval in which the brain can “turn the key” to change modes and put it into practice what you learned.
Scientific research proves that strategic breaks significantly improve productivity
According to recent research released by The Energy Project, most people naturally go from a state of full focus to a state of physiological fatigue in about 90 minutes, or an hour and a half.
With that in mind, according to Robert Pozen, senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is recommended to take a break of at least 15 minutes after periods of 75 to 90 minutes of work.
The time recommendation varies because some people take longer to get tired while others see their energy depleted more quickly, so rest time should be geared towards maximizing the amount of productive time.
In addition to Pozen’s recommendation, other techniques that can be used have different divisions of work and rest. For example, the traditional pomodoro technique offers options ranging from 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes of rest to 50 minutes of work with 10 minutes of rest.
Because each body works differently, the best way to find which division works is to test several until you find the one that is most productive.
Regardless of the technique and time division you choose, the fact is that frequent breaks give both your mind and body enough time to recharge your energies and greatly increase your productivity.
If that wasn’t enough, these strategic breaks also improve employee morale, reduce errors in all types of jobs, and improve posture.
Several ways to enjoy these breaks
Now, to make the most of the benefits of strategic breaks, you should not only think about their frequency and duration, but also how those valuable minutes will be used.
In this sense, and considering the high power that thoughts have over life, one of the best possible hobbies to adopt in these very important periods is meditation.
This ancient practice can be practiced anywhere and takes just a few minutes to bring both a high level of relaxation and clear the minds of its practitioners.
Another hobby that doesn’t take a lot of time is playing all kinds of games. There are several options available through internet browsing, such as the different forms of chess on Chess.com, the different casino slots on PokerStars Casino and the various browser games on sites like Poki.
All these options mentioned have interesting and fun mechanics, so enthusiasts can use their relaxation period with something light and that allows them to enjoy the moment without distractions.
Now, for those who prefer a little physical exercise during their rest period, one of the best possible recommendations, if there is adequate space in the workplace, is yoga.
Yoga allows you to stretch and strengthen several important muscles, and practicing together with other co-workers can be a great exercise to reinforce connection and synergy between teams.