It is easy to get excited about some of the methods we discussed in the last chapter and assume that you need to run full-steam ahead to get it all done. But it is also important to take a lot of breaks when you are doing any of these methods. Our brains are not designed to spend hours on end trying to get all the work done. And trying to force them to can make us tired and worn out. Before long the distractions will come.
That is why all of the methods we discussed above have breaks built in. When a task is done, you are supposed to take a break. When one of the sprints is done with the Pomodoro Method, you are supposed to take a break and an even longer one once four sprints are done. Breaks are great for aiding your focus and helping you stay on task.
Taking breaks from any mental work that you do is going to be helpful. It will make it easier to focus and can boost your productivity levels as well.
Some of the benefits of adding breaks into your day include:
Increases Your Productivity
Recent studies show that having some kind of break once an hour or so can help you be more productive than those who continued to work without a break. After some time, our brains are going to feel tired from all of the stimulation, making it hard to handle the task or see it as important any longer. When we take a break, we can come back to that job with some new energy and more focus.
Can Be Your Creative Fuel
Even if you really love the work that you do, you can’t keep on being creative and focused when your mind is tired. Even ten minutes to walk around your office or to go and grab a drink can help you calm down and just gives the brain a little rest. This may bring about enough of a rest to help you think about the problem in a different way and find the solution that you want.
Physical Movement Keeps the Brain Sharp
When taking your break, it is a good idea to get up and move around as much as possible. Do a walk around the office or some jumping jacks. If you can get outside for a few minutes, give that a try. Physical activity, as well as fresh air and some sunshine, can do wonders for cleaning the fog that may come over you after working hard. While maintaining focus is good for getting work done, it does strain the brain and can make it wear out faster than normal. These healthy breaks that get the blood pumping through physical activity can be just the ticket that you need.
It is easy to fall into the trap that we need to sit down at our desks and focus all of our mind and attention on the tasks at hand for eight hours a day. This is going to wear you out quickly and can make your focus and productivity wane. Focus is necessary to get the work done, but regular breaks are just as important to keep the brain from burning out as you do your work.