My husband is a tech guy. So when I have an issue with a computer, phone, or TV, he's my first line of defense. Without fail, his first questions are:
- Did you turn it off for a few minutes before turning it back on?
- Did you try unplugging and replugging it back in?
I can sometimes be slow to learn, but I finally get it. When it's not working right, I turn it off or unplug the device, giving it a chance to rest before trying again. More often than not, this solves the issue.
HUMANS AND TECH
While we are different in most ways, one way in which we are similar to our tech devices is that we too, sometimes need to unplug to be recharged and work optimally.
Whether it be following the Pomodoro technique of working twenty-five minutes followed by a five minute break or taking a weeklong vacation every six months, our brain functions best when we give it time to rest and refuel.
This recent article in Psychology Today, describes five ways taking work breaks help your brain. They are summarized below:
- Physical Health - you know it's not good to sit all day, but it's easy to get absorbed in your work and find yourself in the same spot for hours. Try this free timer to keep you aware of how long you are sitting. When possible, use the break to do something active (walk down the hall or up a flight or two of stairs) or try to get some fresh air from outside.
- Decision Fatigue - you make thousands of decisions a day which makes your brain tired. Even a few minutes can help to power your cognitive abilities and fight the fatigue.
- Improved Focus - when you are working on a long and difficult task it can be hard to stay motivated. Taking frequent breaks helps you to maintain focus.
- Increased Productivity and Creativity - being exhausted can render you useless. Work breaks let you think more clearly and creatively so you can get work done more quickly.
- Resting While Awake - you may have heard that sleep helps to consolidate memories. Did you know that resting while you are awake has been shown to help with the formation of memory and improved learning?
How are you about taking breaks?
I have known about the Pomodoro technique for years, but I only tested it out recently....and it works! I have been getting more quality work done by focusing in sprints rather than long, unproductive stretches. And I was surprised at how much more energy I have from a little movement during the five-minute short breaks.
Do you use a different technique to establish frequent breaks in your day? Please share!
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