take a 20-min break every 2 hours
One working day
Yesterday, I wanted to test something I’ve read about on several occasions: taking regular breaks during your workday increase your productivity.
Being productive allows me to do more in less time. Which is great because it means there is more time for fun stuff. So I chose this as as my self-care act of the day: I randomly decided to pause for 20 minutes every two hours.
Let me go straight to the point and tell you that I need to repeat the experiment.
I think I was lacking sleep yesterday. And I am totally sure I was lacking focus.
Laptop open, I kept chatting with my Starbucks « colleagues » to the point that I forgot about my self-care act of the day.
I started working at about 9 AM but I didn’t stop until 1 PM.
When I realized I had forgotten about my decision, I decided to take a real break, go for lunch and disconnect from everything for almost 1 hour.
Then I went back to work and had to stop again at 3:30 to pick up my daughter from school.
When we came back around 4/4:15, I went back to my computer and had to stop again at 5:30 to take my son from daycare.
Conclusion: my day was a succession of interruptions and discontinuities. Each time I tried to work on something, I was disturbed by something else, and at the end of the day, I didn’t do much. I wasn’t more productive and I didn’t benefit from the experiment.
Which is good news, because after reading more about the topic, I learnt that studies show that 17-minute breaks every 52-minute increase productivity (not every two hours).
During those 52 minutes, you need to keep a total focus: no talking on the phone, no Facebook or email checking. Just focus on the task you’re doing.
And during the 17-min break, same thing. You try to totally enjoy your break and if you choose to talk to a colleague for example, do it with a 100% clear conscience.
I think I’m ready for next time and I’ll definitely let you know how it goes.
What about you, guys? Any tips to share to increase your productivity?
WHY IS IT SELF-CARE? Being more productive allows you to have move time to be “improductive” and just enjoy life.
MORE ABOUT THIS
Since I’ve done this self-care act, I’ve tried it many times. But to be honest, it was never able to take 17-min break every 50 minutes.
This timing is too rigid for me. What I keep from this idea is that we need regular breaks at more or less regular intervals.
So here is what I try to do:
– when I plan my day/organize my to-do list, I try to schedule my breaks. If I have to focus on a work for 2 hours to keep my focus, I do it and I then I take a long break.
– When I take a break, I get away from my laptop. I like walking, talking to my friends, family or colleagues, making coffee…