Taking breaks at work are not usually something we think about, much less do. A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study shows that taking breaks can dramatically improve one’s productivity and creativity. The CDC recommends taking a five-minute break every hour no matter whether you work at a desk, do heavy construction work or anything in between. You won’t just get more done, you’ll be more productive, focused, happier, healthier, and less stressed.
6 Advantages of taking breaks at work:
- Breaks prevent boredom: when you get bored you lose focus and more importantly lose interest in your work. When you come back from a break, you get back in the groove, ideas start flowing again, and you are back into the task at hand.
- Breaks help with evaluation: when you work on a task for a long time, you lose focus and end up in the weeds. Taking a 5-minute break allows you to assess if you’re working effectively. An opportunity to reevaluate the situation.
- Breaks give your eyes a rest: most of us are staring at a computer or some type of screen and prolonged work without breaks can cause digital eye strain. Taking a break gives your eyes a chance to look at something different and give your body a chance to stretch which improves your health.
- Breaks improve the quality of your work: your ability to focus is limited. Your mind begins to wander at some point. The quality of your work is compromised when your focus begins to wane. Taking a break helps you reset, refocus, reenergize.
- Breaks lower your stress: It’s important to intermittently disengage from any activity that causes stress. Your ability to work is compromised as your stress rises beyond a certain level and not good for your health over the long haul. Breaks are one way to “switch off from work” to help cope with stress at work.
- Breaks can prevent decision fatigue: the need to make frequent decisions throughout your day can wear down your willpower and reasoning ability which can lead to simplistic decision-making and procrastination.
Breaks will increase your productivity, creativity, and quality of work. It’s easy to say, I don’t have time for breaks, I have too much to do. Do your own study. Day 1, take no breaks and track your productivity. Day 2, take a 5 minute break every hour and track your productivity. My bet is you will see an increase. Give yourself a break today and enjoy the many benefits taking regular breaks provides.