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Want to Be More Productive at Work? Take a Break!

by Megan Breinig

Do you work non-stop at the office, powering through your work without taking as much as a 5-minute break for a little water-cooler talk? Well, you may be sabotaging your efforts; working non-stop is not the best way to get work done.

A recent study shows that taking breaks from demanding tasks can actually increase your creativity and productivity.

why you should take a break

Why You Need a Break

According to the study, when your brain is constantly stimulated by an object, task, or thought it dismisses the item as unimportant and removes it from your awareness. For example, when you are wearing a shirt and your senses become adapted to it you hardly feel or realize that you are wearing the clothing at all. The same effect occurs when your brain is constantly exposed to the same task or stimulus. People commonly associate break-taking with guilt and laziness, but there is no proof that taking a break can boost productivity.

When Should You Take a Break?

Taking short breaks when you are completing a long task is a must! It is recommended to take several short breaks throughout the day (about once an hour) and make sure they include some sort of body movement. 

How To Do It

Walk around the office

Sometimes taking a little stroll to get your mind off of a task for five minutes and get the blood flowing is optimal. Choose a route around the office, or get outside for some fresh air. Heck, even a walk to the water cooler or coffee machine to rejuvenate your mind works.

Do a Little Dance

A little song and dance break can help you free your mind and have a little bit of fun at the office. Just remember, if Human Resources pulls you into their office, you didn’t hear this from us…

Nap it Out

There is some debate when it comes to office napping however certain employers are growing keener to the thought. Statistics show that after taking a 26-minute nap 34% of workers improved performance and 54% improved alertness.


If you are short on time and can’t get out of your chair at least do some stretches and take your eyes off of the screen. Stretching will help to relax your muscles and give you that little pick-me-up in order to increase your productivity. To see some good exercises and stretches you can do at your desk, check this out.

The Takeaway

Don’t associate taking a break with laziness. Think of break-taking as a way that you can reduce your stress level and become a better asset to your employer. Sitting at the desk and drilling yourself to the breaking point is not productive so don’t do it. Ready…1,2,3…Break!

Photo by Victor1558

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