If you are thinking about skipping your next break to catch up at work, maybe you will reconsider after reading this. According to new studies, taking periodic work breaks can benefit employee health, wellness, and performance. Unfortunately, a significant number of staff members today aren’t encouraged by their bosses to take regular breaks, even though it can lead to a more robust workforce. Here is how taking even tiny work breaks can boost productivity and creativity.
Reduces Decision Fatigue
Did you know that the average person makes up to 35,000 decisions per day? Although many of them may be trivial, like what to wear and what to eat, a growing list of inconsequential decisions in the workplace can lead to even more fatigue among employees. Successful leaders understand the importance of getting the most productivity and value from their employees by encouraging lunch breaks or even microbreaks. Studies suggest that most forms of micro-breaking, like staring at greenery or watching funny video clips for a few minutes throughout the workday, can improve everything from stress to concentration. That’s why a growing number of organizations are promoting flexible microbreaks to meet their employees’ physical and mental well-being needs. Taking brief mental breaks is essential to restoring motivation too. Instead of focusing on single tasks for prolonged periods, it’s typically better to deactivate and reactivate long-term goals after some downtime to replenish your attention and motivation.
The Key to Effective Breaks
If you’re in a state of flow and enjoying what you’re doing, then it might be best to delay taking a break until some fatigue sets in. Since the goal is to decrease stress, it’s usually best to avoid those common triggers such as social media, current events, etc. Instead, try rebooting with some of these recommended activities:
- Meditating: Lowers anxiety and boosts brain activity.
- Exercising: Take a walking break rather than a sitting break.
- Power napping: Try a 10-20 minute nap that leaves you feeling refreshed.
- Eating a healthy snack: From coffee to fresh fruit, some things are considered brain foods.
Although you may not want to risk losing the momentum that you’ve built up during the workday, taking a short, effective break once every hour is often the key to boosting productivity and preventing decision fatigue and burn out in the long run.
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