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Now that we have established that it’s not possible to be productive 24×7, it’s only appropriate to discuss in detail why you can’t be productive 24×7, why you need breaks and what kind of breaks you need.

Why you can’t be in action 24×7

When you go on working for long periods of time, you can begin to get distracted and aren’t as focused as in the beginning. As a result, your productivity can go downhill.

Also, the longer you work the longer you have to decide things, determine the answers, and find solutions. This means that you are using your limited resource of willpower, which would lead to decision fatigue at one point or another. (Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making.)

Why it’s important to take breaks

Taking regular breaks from your work will help you think more clearly and make better decisions. Breaks will also help you stay focused and increase your productivity.

In addition, breaks will help you refresh your mind and body. They can help spark creative ideas and new solutions. This is especially important if you’ve been sitting in one place for a long time.

A break can also help relieve stress and tension.

Retention of content also tends to get better after taking breaks since it gives your mind time to get absorbed in the new idea.

Finally, a break can allow you to do something different.

How to take a good break

This one might seem a little useless because everyone knows how to take a break – Stop your work, go on your phone, scroll a little till your break’s over and go on with your work. Right?

Try again.

The central idea is to disengage your brain from your work and give it some rest.

So even though scrolling on your phone is disengaging from your work, it isn’t the most recommended form of a break because going on social media increases your stress and tires your eyes. So it’s better to stay away from screens during the break.

Now that screens are out the way, what other things can you do in breaks?

Here are my top picks:

  • Go for short walk – a stroll in your room counts too
  • Go outdoors
  • Stretch
  • Take a nap
  • Clean your desk or room
  • Doodle
  • Stare into nothigness
  • Talk to people
  • Meditate
  • Do a couple of jumping jacks/push ups/any other movement you’re comfortable with
  • Have a snack – even better if you make it yourself in the break

Essentially, you just want to do an activity that rests your eyes, detaches you from your work and get you moving a bit.


Recap for memory:

  1. Going on without breaks decreases productivity, leads to brain fog and a lack of motivation.
  2. Taking breaks can boost creativity, help in better retention and decision making.
  3. A good break is one includes disconnecting from your work and  truly resting.

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