To achieve a lot during the day, my believe was that I have to work a lot. And breaks are a waste of time. But this only lead me procrastinating and taking even more breaks. This, in turn, strengthened my belief that breaks are a waste of time. But contrary to my initial belief, can you use breaks to be more productive?
There is some sense behind our school system. 45 minutes learning, 5-10 minutes break. Most of the learning in our brains happens not during the sessions, but our brain has time to process everything that happened. Therefore, breaks are crucial for learning and making progress. When I feel the need to be really productive, I use the Promodoro technique. Or an adjusted version of it. 30 minutes of work, followed by 10 minutes break, where I don’t get any new input. I make myself a tea or just reflect about what I just did (which by the way is the best way to learn new things). The important thing here is to turn off anything that could distract you during those 30 minutes.
Planning breaks into my working schedule actually keeps me from procrastinating. If I allow myself to have breaks, I don’t have to take them involuntarily and unplanned. I also realize that I have more energy when I take regular breaks. Of course, I can work for hours without taking a break. But how sustainable is that? Either I cannot really focus towards the end of it, or I am exhausted the next day. Taking breaks will also allow my brain to make connections with other parts of my brain, resulting in new ideas. Often, if we are not at work or involved in a specific task, we have an idea that will help us with that specific task. So, maybe taking a break will help you to achieve the breakthrough you needed. Another benefit of it is that we can use those breaks to move a bit. This helps our body and our mind.
Why don’t you try it out yourself? Experiment a bit with how long you work and how long the breaks will be. Use the breaks to achieve more during the day and feel not only more productive but energized as well.
Have a wonderful day and take care!