Taking breaks throughout the work day actually increases productivity in the workplace by helping employees refocus their attention on the tasks at hand. Here are three ways to maximize the value of breaks to ensure increased productivity:
1. Get Moving
Sitting at a desk can get redundant, which allows you to lose focus of what you should be working, so just take a quick walk around the office if you need to. Walking away from a task, especially one you have been working on for a prolonged period of time can allow you to stop and think about it without the pressure of feeling like you need to do it right away because it is right there in front of you. Many studies have also come out recently detailing the health hazards of sitting all day, so walking for even a few minutes every few hours can both help you focus more on your work and benefit your health.
Meditation has been shown to relieve stress, so if you’re having a particularly stressful day at the office, take a break, meditate and clear your mind. Clearing your mind through meditation not only allows you to destress, but it also allows you to refocus and prioritize the tasks at hand to prevent future stress from becoming a problem.
3. Take a Nap
I know this one may seem a little out of the norm for most places, but a short 30 minute nap has many benefits. It can help reenergize the body just enough to finish out the work day, and much like walking, it also increases cognition and focus. Short naps have also been shown to increase memory and mental alertness which can help employees finish more tasks faster than they would have been able to before.
Breaks can be incredibly beneficial to employees, employers and companies as a whole, but the benefits depend on how you maximize the value of your break time.