Back in 2011, the CNN website published an article entitled: “Why Taking Lunch Breaks Makes You a Better Employee.” The article stated that despite the popular perception that lunch breaks are a waste of time, they can actually prove to be productive. From a productivity standpoint, exerting constant effort on your brain through an eight-hour day results in diminishing marginal returns. When you are not actively thinking, you are more likely to come up with a fresh idea, approach or solution to a work-related issue. Yes, taking a lunch break makes you a better employee. Following are some reasons why deactivating and re-engaging are good ways to improve productivity.
Brief Diversions Improve Focus
There is a growing body of evidence showing that taking regular breaks makes you more productive and creative while skipping designated break times can lead to stress and exhaustion. Brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.
According to researchers, prolonged attention on a task results in poor performance. This phenomenon can be seen in both our sensory and visual perceptions. Constant stimulation or continual attention, to a stationary object, for example, can lead to that object’s complete “disappearance” from view. In the case of sensory perception, the brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant over time. According to scientists, if sustained attention to a sensation makes that sensation vanish in our awareness, sustained attention to a thought should also lead to that thought’s disappearance from our mind.”
Yes, deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused. Impose brief breaks on yourself to stay focused on your task.
Break Up Breaks with Work
When you come right down to it, a lot of work productivity proponents have repeatedly showed why frequent breaks are essential to keeping employees content and productive in the workplace. Some have suggested intense 15-minute work sessions complemented by a break which essentially translates to break-work routines.
A recent study has even showed that a simple ten-minute break in which workers walked around every 20 minutes prevented them from having unusual blood sugar spikes. In addition, prolonged sitting was found to affect the body’s response to food. Some breaks can seem odd but they actually do the trick. One worker heads to the men’s room and brushes his teeth every time he has a writer’s block. He swears it always does the trick. Why not find something that gets you distracted or at least gets you in a different state of mind and see if that is what your mind needs to get you to come up with new ideas or solutions at work?
In work environments where the employer does not allow frequent breaks from your desk, how can you maintain your productivity? Try engaging all your senses at work. It’s more entertaining and makes you more alert. For example, why not try using colored paper and pens, experimenting with peppermint or aromatherapy or simply playing background music?
Hey, if you took that lunch break, you would probably come up with even more new ideas on how to be more productive at work.
by David Gitonga