It’s scientifically proven that taking a break from work has a very strong positive impact on your cognitive function. The University of Illinois conducted a study that shows that prolonged focus on one task can actually reduce productivity and hurt performance. Sitting at your desk staring at your computer screen for hours on end can be exhausting, therefore reducing attention, memory, and concentration. How can you focus on big projects when you are suffering from mental fatigue? The answer is, you can’t. The solution lies in taking breaks from work to refresh, reinvigorate, and motivate!
Get A Fresh Perspective
Below is a list of the best ways you can spend your time off work to ensure a fresh perspective when you return:
Be active! Leave work early to go on a hike, go to the gym, go for a walk or a bike ride around the neighborhood, or attend a yoga class. Whatever you like to do for exercise, do it. Exercise, on top of clearing your mind by reducing stress, also reverses the negative effects of sitting all day long. It combats obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety, heart disease, and many, many other health problems.
Take an extra long lunch with a friend or family member, or even by yourself. Get out of the office and think about other things. Work is typically the source of fatigue, so by disengaging from work you will recover from exhaustion more quickly, allowing you to return to work feeling refreshed.
Just be present. Spend some time alone and just meditate. It will help you to detach from your work projects and allow you to clear your mind, focusing on relaxation.
In many cases, forcing yourself to focus simply doesn’t work, and your time typically ends up being spent unproductively anyway. Consider incorporating breaks so you can return and have energy to complete your work with diligence and quality!