If we keep track of our daily schedule really thoroughly, we might be shocked how much time we waste in five to fifteen-minute breaks. I am saying “waste” not by accident here since we are often wasting our time during breaks instead of recharging batteries. The good news is that brief mental breaks taken in a reasonable way still help us re-focus, regain motivation and reevaluate goals.
Rest at work is a necessity without which efficient job is not possible. And we should never feel guilty because of it. If our mind is overloaded with information and stimuli, we do tasks less effective than usual, and things on our to-do-list are just accumulating. It is clear that without downtime we are less efficient and less engaged, but let us face it - taking intentional and productive breaks is something completely different than accidental scrolling through Facebook for ten or twenty minutes. Another problem is that taking too many breaks at work will not bring about anything good, too. Especially if we are made to stop doing our tasks due to some noise at the office, a poor level of sound privacy or other disruptions. After such a pause we often end up back where we started.
That is why, it is good to plan breaktime in advance. Planning is not only significant if it comes about completing tasks. It is good to think what time of the day is fast-paced and what is prone to intervals. For some people breaks taken in the mid-morning are more likely to boost energy and enforce concentration, and for others these might be intermissions in the mid-afternoon. I deeply believe that breaks at work should be well-thought and first of all, they should be good for us and people around. We should always keep in mind that by taking a break we should not interrupt someone’s else train of thoughts.
Are breaks waste timers? No, as long as they are not accidental and interrupting. After all, downtime is to increase our productivity, improve reasoning skills and make us happier not more stressed.