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You’re Taking Breaks The Wrong Way, Here’s How To Fix That

Here are seven tips for taking work breaks so you can come back recharged, reenergized, and more productive.

You’re Taking Breaks The Wrong Way, Here’s How To Fix That
[Photo: Mikael Kristenson]

Here are seven science-backed studies that can help you maximize your downtime.

1. TAKE A BREAK EVERY 52 MINUTES


Related: What Happened When I Gave Up Social Media For A Month 


  • By knowing you have a break coming up, you’re more likely to stay focused and work with purpose.
  • Working for any longer can cause cognitive boredom.
    Your body wasn’t meant to sit for 8 hours a day.
  • You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking, and while the statement makes for better headlines than fact, it’s true that getting some activity at regular intervals in your day will improve your health and mental focus.

2. DISTRACT YOURSELF TO RECHARGE YOUR FOCUS

Instead of thinking about the problem without stop, we need to create distractions that take our attention away from the task at hand so we can come back at it with a fresh mind.

3. TAKE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Studies show that just spending time in nature can help alleviate mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind. Additionally, increased exposure to sunlight and fresh air helps increase productivity and can even improve your sleep. In one study, researchers found that workers with more exposure to natural light during the day slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.

4. GIVE YOUR MIND THE RIGHT FUEL

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that protein not only gives you that quick hit of glucose, but is the only macronutrient to enhance cognitive abilities longer than 15-20 minutes after ingestion.

5. EXERCISE YOUR EYES

Luckily, there’s a simple exercise that will help reduce your eye fatigue: 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes look away from your computer screen and focus on an item at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Easy, right?

  • Dim your lights: Your computer screen should be the brightest thing in the room.
  • Reduce glare: When one spot on your screen is brighter than others, your eyes have a hard time adjusting to it which can cause added strain. Try an anti-glare screen cover, clean your screen regularly, and make sure you’re not too close to a window.
  • Make your workspace more eye-friendly: Proper ergonomics help reduce fatigue in your entire body but your eyes especially.

6. HIT THE GYM (OR AT LEAST GO FOR A WALK)

Exercise is one of the easiest ways to reduce fatigue, boost energy, and increase your productivity throughout the day. Researchers from the University of São Paulo discovered that just 10 minutes of exercise is enough to boost memory and attention performance throughout the day.

 

7. SIMPLY SIT AND LET YOUR MIND WANDER

A report published in Science magazine found that simply letting our minds wander by zoning out or daydreaming has similar benefits to meditation. When we stop paying attention to anything, our brain’s Default Mode Network takes over which gives our overworked prefrontal cortex–where complex processes like problem-solving, memory, reason, and logic take place–a well-deserved rest.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://www.fastcompany.com/40475204/youre-taking-breaks-the-wrong-way-heres-how-to-fix-that

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