The problem of not taking breaks at work

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that taking breaks is important for being more productive at your job. Still, we all are torturing ourselves by constantly pushing our physical and mental limits and overstretching those working hours.

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The sad part is that as we start to grow up, we don’t even have our parents to point out and say enough of the indoor television watching — it’s time to go out and spend some time in the real world. I clearly remember as a child that’s how my mother used to yell at me every Sunday evening.

But let’s face it, it is up to you to take care of your productivity. Now that even studies have shown that the most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break, it is time for us to realize how important taking regular breaks at work is.

Here’s a little insight on what happens when we start taking breaks at brief intervals -

We become more focussed

There is a limit to the amount of time for which human mind can remain focused. After that, it cannot remain as productive as it was when it was fresh. Breaks work as the triggers which deactivate your mind from the work. Once you come back it’s reactivated. This game of deactivation and reactivation actually helps human brain remain focussed.

According to Alejandro Lleras, Professor of Psychology at University of Illinois, “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused.” He further adds,”From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”

We can become more productive

The mental block is one such term that has become prevalent amongst employees over the recent past. Everyone is writing about the mental block, how to fight it and more, but no one really understands the basic cause of this mental block.

Not taking regular breaks. When you are putting your mind under the constant stress of work it will stop working once it reaches the saturation point. This saturation point is what is termed as the mental block in scientific language. By following the simple 52–17 rule as mentioned in the beginning of this article, you can save yourself from this mental block and remain productive throughout the day!

We give our body the physical movement it deserves

This applies to people who have to remain seated at their workstations for the major part of their day. By sitting at the work desk for close to 9-hours a day we are making our body sedentary and lazy. This is again where taking small breaks can be of great help.

The problem here is that for a majority of people breaks mean getting that one-hour long lunch break. No, it does not always have to be that. Taking a stroll down the hallway to fetch a glass of water is also a break in a way because it shifts your focus from work, plus also brings movement to your body. This movement can help fight the evil of laziness; all it requires is a little conscious effort to keep reminding ourselves that we need a break.

We get time to reassess our thoughts and goals

Most important of all, it gives our mind the time it needs to reassess our goals. Most of the time, all we need is a little break when we are stuck at something and are unable to find a solution to it.

But seldom do we realize this fact. Rather than taking a break, we keep grinding the brain’s mill looking for more ideas. By doing so we end up stressing it even more, and that’s when things like mental block, job-stress etc., start to take over, ultimately leading to frustration and poor performance. When we take a break, we get an opportunity to reassess our goals, and can thus come up with changed course of action that can lead to success.

So, for how long have you been sitting at your desk?

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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.


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Originally published at LinkedIn.