You’re working hard but are you being 100% efficient? There’s one major thing that people forget to do while working (whether it be school, or a job) that can boost your productivity to the next level. This one thing is something that we rarely think about when we have a boat load of things that need to get done. This thing is what some people like to call a break.
Think about it. Taking a break from your work for short periods of time can help you wrap your mind around what it is you’re trying to do. Spending hours fuelled by caffeine while trying to make an assignment deadline is never a good idea. That is when you start to make careless mistakes and have to retrace your steps and re-do things. Why spend all that time and energy working so hard when you’ll eventually have to reassess what you’re doing and if you’re doing it correctly?
Taking a break will help maintain a stable mindset and mentality, allowing you to approach everything you do in a logical and effective manner. Giving your mind time to rest and relax for short periods of time during the day will allow it to recharge and work even harder when you resume your task. The scientific reason behind this is that the average person’s attention span is around 8-10 seconds long. Thus, we often find ourselves spending an awful amount of time doing one single task because we have to spread our attention across such a long period of time. We aren’t letting ourselves focus on that task. This is why when you take a break in between tasks and then go back to working, you’ll find yourself able to go headfirst into that second task without feeling too much fatigue on your brain.
Breaks should range from 15 to 20 minutes each time you take one. Or you could even set up a schedule where you allow yourself an 8 minute break for every 52 minutes you work or if you’re not able to keep going for 52 minutes, even 5 minutes of break for every 25 minutes you work. Research has shown that studying endlessly can be more harmful than helpful. Finding ways to channel your stress will help keep you balanced enough to handle the next stressor that comes your way.
Some of our favorite activities/outlets of stress are: watching an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, getting in some exercise when you get time, going for a walk, or speaking with a friend about just about anything besides work. Meditation is also a great way to alleviate stress. Apps like Breath2relax and Stop, Breath and Think are a great way to practice mindfulness without having to worry about how you should practice mindfulness. If you have a smartwatch, such as an Apple Watch, there are features to practice mindfulness built into the devices.
Some Other Tips
Earlier, I touched on you having to do a boat load of things throughout the day. I always recommend you have a planner to keep track of all your tasks and assignments that need to get done. Prioritize. Everything you do should have a priority level attached to it. That way subconsciously you will know what to spend the more amount of time and energy on. Planning what needs to be done will help alleviate any sort of surprises you may experience down the road. You won’t have to worry about forgetting things because you will have it planned out as to what needs to be done and when it will be done.
Use apps such as Google Calendar to plan out your time and use apps like Trello to keep track of the tasks and assignments you need to do. Get them integrated into your workflow, and you will see a drastic improvement in your productivity.