Recent research shows that taking regular, strategic breaks during your workday can improve performance.
Rather than charging forward all day long, trying to stay in front of your computer as long as possible, taking some time away can actually be more productive. But your breaks need to be strategic.
According to new research published in Harvard Business Review, here are some of the factors to consider when planning breaks for your day:
*Put Your Breaks on Your Calendar. Block time for your breaks or – as you know – other meetings or activities will encroach on them. Be intentional about taking this time.
*Shorter Breaks in the Morning, Longer in the Afternoon. Our energy tends to dip some in the afternoon, so longer breaks then can be helpful.
*Get Away from the Desk; Outside if Possible. A stretch break at your desk is fine, but getting away from your office is even better. It is ideal if you can get outside and experience a little of the natural world. And even better if you can take a walk and get the blood flowing.
*Role Model Breaks for Your Team. Our culture has a stigma against taking breaks which is not healthy or productive. As a leader, you can help change this by encouraging your team to take breaks and making sure they know that you are doing the same.
Taking breaks is a three-way win. You will get more done, the quality of your work will improve, and – as a bonus – it is good for your well-being. Start planning your strategic breaks today.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Lyubykh, Z. & Gulseren, D. B. “How to Take Better Breaks at Work, According to Research,” Harvard Business Review online, May 31, 2023.