If you’ve been working hard to launch and grow your online business, you’ve probably come across industry influencers and leaders telling you that the only way to succeed is to adopt a constant hustle mindset.
But science says otherwise. According to Forbes, learning how to take productive breaks is good for you. In reality, we weren’t built to operate at 100% capacity 100% of the time. Our productivity tanks get low and decision fatigue rears its ugly head, making it harder to focus — not to mention the strain on our body and eyes from constantly sitting and looking at a monitor.
Luckily, those negative side effects can be countered simply by taking more breaks, and in this article, we’ll share tips on how to make those breaks more productive.
How to take productive breaks
Whether you produce content daily or over longer periods, taking breaks should be a regular part of your workday. Here are five tips that will help you take more productive breaks.
1. Work in shorter bursts
You may have heard of the Pomodoro Technique before: this technique involves working in 25-minute sprints followed by a five-minute break. After four sprints (pomodoros), you can take a 10-minute break.
While this method is popular, research from DeskTime reveals that the most productive people work an average of 52 minutes before taking a 17-minute break. Working in shorter bursts is effective because you’ll be more likely to stay focused on the task when you know you have a break coming.
2. Step outside
Working in your home office or perhaps at a local coffee shop might be necessary, but spending the entire day inside is not healthy. Try to step outside for five or 10 minutes a few times throughout your workday.
Spending a few moments outside can boost your mental health and even improve your sleep, according to the University of Washington.
3. Refuel with nutritious food
One of the most common reasons we take breaks is to get food or drink. Our bodies demand hydration and nourishment — a natural reason to step away from work. But, it’s important to fuel your mind and body with the right kind of sustenance.
Instead of grabbing a candy bar or high-carb snack, opt for a protein-based snack. This can be a small serving of lean meat, cheese, or a handful of nuts. Protein-rich snacks like these help to support focus and maintain energy levels.
4. Exercise your eyes
Whether you’re a content writer or a website developer, there’s no denying that you spend a lot of time staring at your computer screen. Make a habit of following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, glance away from your screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
5. Do nothing
All of the techniques above are a great way to take a break while also doing something good for your body and mind. But there’s one more way to take a break — and that’s to do nothing.
Simply letting your mind wander and reflect can reap many of the same benefits as meditation, according to research from the New York Academy of Sciences. Letting your mind wander allows your prefrontal cortex, which is where all the problem-solving, memory, and logic processes happen, to get a much-needed and well-deserved break.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, taking more breaks will actually boost your productivity. With the tips in this article, you’ll be able to accomplish more — and feel better — during your workday.
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