Taking short breaks every hour or two, rather than working for long stretches without a break, can help prevent burnout and maintain focus throughout the day.
In today’s fast-paced world, taking breaks at work is often seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of dedication. However, a recent study published in the journal Cognition shows that taking regular breaks actually increases productivity and creativity.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.
“You start performing poorly on a task because you’ve stopped being able to pay attention to it, and you need to take a break to get back to the top of your game,” the study’s lead author, Alejandro Lleras, said.
The researchers also found that the most effective type of break is one that involves completely shifting your attention away from work, such as going for a walk, meditating, or engaging in a hobby.
These types of breaks allow the brain to rest and recharge, leading to increased productivity and creativity when returning to work.
Additionally, the study found that the timing and frequency of breaks can also impact productivity. Taking short breaks every hour or two, rather than working for long stretches without a break, can help prevent burnout and maintain focus throughout the day.
Despite the benefits of taking breaks, many workers still feel guilty or ashamed for doing so. However, companies are starting to recognise the importance of breaks for employee wellbeing and productivity.
Some companies are even implementing policies that encourage employees to take regular breaks and disconnect from work outside of office hours.
In conclusion, researchers advised that taking breaks at work is not a sign of laziness or lack of dedication. Rather, it is an essential part of maintaining focus, preventing burnout, and boosting productivity and creativity.
“You can’t just keep pouring water into the glass without emptying it out once in a while,” the lead author added.