Ambitious people tend to be a bit neurotic about wasting time. If you’re the type of person who refuses to take a break at work, or you feel overwhelming guilt when you do so, now’s the moment to rethink your attitude towards downtime. Experts reckon that even a 30 second break can make you 13% more productive – so long as you’re not taking one every other minute! A well-regulated work-break schedule can make you more energized, creative and productive during those periods of hard work between well-earned rests.
So how can you integrate breaks into your work-day without feeling like you’re frittering away valuable minutes? For starters, be disciplined: resting does indeed become counter-productive when you start tacking extra minutes on the end, lost down an internet rabbit hole or in meaningless workplace gossip. Find a rhythm that works for you, be it 50 minute chunks with strict ten-minute breaks, or a maximum recommended 90 minute work period followed by 20 or 30 minutes off.
You can use that time productively without becoming fatigued if you take a new perspective on what is to be considered ‘productive’. Reading, doing puzzles, or watching informative videos (such as TED talks) can all give you an inspiration boost while giving your mind a rest from the task you’ve been working on. Looking after yourself by fixing a healthy, energy-boosting snack or going for a walk can also help you to work a longer day, at a higher intensity. Indeed, without such a break you are likely to burn yourself out or turn in flawed work at the end of the day.
For more insight into taking better breaks, have a look at this new infographic from QuidCorner. Packed with ideas on how to maximize your rest period, it’s an ideal way to spend your next spare five minutes.