Happy Humpdaayyy!!! How is your week going? Well hopefully it is going well but no matter
how you’re week is going this was too cute to keep to myself. Thought I’d share so you can take a moment, smile and be entertained as we press through our week. Pause, take a break.
We can get so caught up in our daily routine that we look up with our concentration face, wrinkled brow and leg cramps from sitting/standing/walking so much at work and the week is over. Stop! Take a break! We often find ourselves plowing through a days-long pile of to-do’s to
get done, barely looking up from our computers but consider this: Breaks are scientifically-proven to boost focus and productivity.
A 2008 University of Illinois study found that the brain’s attention resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single task, decreasing our focus and hindering performance. Here I thought it was my ADHD (well in some of our cases it is) But even brief diversions, the study found, could significantly increase one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods of time.
“Like time, energy is finite; but unlike time, it is renewable,” Energy Project CEO Tony Schwartz wrote in the New York Times. “Taking more time off is counter-intuitive for most of us. The idea is also at odds with the prevailing work ethic in most companies, where downtime is typically viewed as time wasted.” Besides, we have to look busy to look like we are being productive…right? (my man in the video subscribes to that theory)
And although Schwartz was advocating for more vacations, the same could apply to breaks taken throughout the day. Though breaks might seem counterproductive, they’re more important than ever in the 24/7 workplace of constant connectivity and non-stop streams of email. We’re constantly checking and updating our email, Twitter and Facebook in addition to the other work we’re doing, and frequently we forgo real breaks in favor of cyber-loafing or Facebook-updating.
There’s no way to perform at your highest level without allowing time for rest. Over long periods of working, the brain uses up oxygen and glucose, its primary forms of energy.
The brain uses enormous amounts of energy for an organ of its size, according to Scientific American, “regardless of whether we are tackling integral calculus or clicking through the week’s top 10 LOLcats.”
So why do we feel exhausted after working for a stretch of time? “Maintaining unbroken focus or navigating demanding intellectual territory for several hours really does burn enough energy to leave one feeling drained,” writes Scientific American’s Ferris Jabr, describing one theory. So if your productivity is lagging, it might actually mean that you need to take more breaks, or more likely, better breaks that are truly restorative.
So stop and take a break before you get back to –Work, work, work, work, work….Under Your Brim.