Taking Regular Work Breaks Increases Your Productivity and Improves Your Health

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Good workers put their nose to the grindstone all day, every day. They never take breaks. They never stop working. Wrong! Taking regular breaks at work can increase your productivity and even improve your health. We work hard and avoid taking breaks because be fear being seen as lazy. No one wants to be the guy looking at his phone when the boss walks by. But those breaks can actually mean you’re more productive. Here’s why you should take more breaks throughout your workday, and how you can do it so you’ll stay productive.

Short breaks help you refocus

You’re powering through, trying to get ready for the presentation you have coming up. The longer you work, however, the harder it is to focus on your work. Research shows you’ll actually be better able to focus if you take short breaks. These breaks can actually dramatically improve your ability to focus on a lengthy task.

Breaks mean healthier bodies

Breaks at work are especially important for workers in physically demanding jobs. It gives your body a rest from repetitive and tiring motions. But, even those with office jobs will have better health when they take regular breaks. It’s not healthy to work too hard in a repetitive job without a break, and conversely, it’s not healthy to sit all day without a break.

Regular breaks promote ideas

When you’re consistently working, it’s hard to take a step back and look at your work with fresh eyes. When you take a break, you have time to disconnect, talk to others, and think of new ideas. It’s even better if you have the chance to sit and chat with a co-worker or friend -- they might have insight you wouldn’t normally think of.

How often you should take breaks at work

Every office or workplace will have its own policy for taking regular work breaks. In most cases, it’s a good idea to stop for a few minutes every hour to decompress. Get up and walk around.

What to do on your break

Smart employees know how to use their work breaks to their advantage. Sure, it’s okay to get up and have a snack or vent to a co-worker. But those actions may not help you feel your best. Instead, take a positive approach. Try the following on your next work break:

  • Exercise. You don’t have to do a full workout, but getting some physical activity in your day will help you feel better and de-stress.
  • Help someone else. Don’t be greedy with your break time. Helping out someone like a coworker can boost your brain with feel-good emotions and help you feel happier for the rest of your day.
  • Meditate. Clear your mind and relax. If meditation isn’t your thing, use your break as a chance to set some goals and re-evaluate where you are in your career.

You don’t have to work every minute of your workday to be your most productive. Taking regular breaks throughout your day will help you feel physically and mentally better. It’ll also help you refocus and increase your productivity. Just remember, how you take your break is just as important and how often you take breaks. Keep things upbeat and positive. Engage in healthy behaviors and it will improve your entire day.