Corporate life is busy. While you’re at work you feel like you need to direct your focus at productivity and accomplishing tasks all day long, because that list of things to do is just not getting any smaller.
It is commonly known that breaks can be helpful throughout the day and is the reason why many hourly positions are required by law to have both lunch breaks and regular breaks. But is there such a thing as an ineffective break?
Breaking up your workday with smaller breaks helps to refocus your mind, increase productivity, and is beneficial to your health – so how can a break be ineffective? According to Angele Grippo Ph.D. at Psychology Today, some breaks can boost performance, but some won’t.
Breaks are like rest periods between sets when weightlifting: a time to let your muscles recover and prepare for the next set. Your brain is the most important muscle of all and requires rest periods just like any other muscle. However, effective breaks entail complete detachment from work: you can refocus on work and be more productive if you shift your mind completely from work to something else! Things like venting about work, drinking caffeine, or having a snack are not good enough, and often don’t help take your mind off work, allowing it to reset.
So next time you take a break from your desk, go watch a funny video, look at nature, or listen to a song! Do something to detach yourself for a couple of minutes, as counterintuitive as it sounds.