Taking a break can make you more productive
1. Breaks can help you refocus
Sometimes when you work on a project for a long time, you can end up feeling like you are spinning your wheels. This is because we can only focus our attention for a certain period of time – this is the process of habituation. Similar to when we are exposed to a smell for an extended period of time, we no longer smell it, if we are exposed to a project for a long period of time, our attention tends to wane.
In one study, two groups were given a 50-minute computer based task. One group was given regular breaks and the other group worked for the full 50 minutes. Those who took breaks outperformed those who didn’t. So try to give yourself a break now and then to regain focus.
2. Snack breaks can help your decision making
Research suggests that making lots of decisions can take its toll on your mental energy levels – this is called ‘decision fatigue’. So whatever decisions you are making, the quality of them might degrade over time. So what’s the reason for this? Some scientists suggest that as your mental energy decreases, you might be more prone to reckless decision making or you may tend to stick with the status quo without weighing up other ideas.
To solve this problem, take a snack break to increase your glucose levels. This will help boost your mental reserves.
3. Naps may boost your memory
According to sleep experts, a 10-minute nap can boost your alertness for the remainder of the day. They also suggest that a 60-minute nap is perfect for processing and memorising facts, and 90 minutes will help increase your procedural memory and creativity.
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