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The Right Way Take Breaks from Your Work

Stay Focused with Regular Breaks

Taking a regular break is an essential part of remaining productive and focused. When you have a deadline to meet, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your computer. But, you need to force yourself to do so. Breaks are a necessary part of working from home or managing your own time.

The problem with skipping breaks is that your productivity will start to drop. A task that should have taken you an hour in order to complete may take several hours. You have then wasted a couple of hours when you could have simply taken a couple short breaks.

If you have trouble forcing yourself to take a break, then discover the right way to take breaks from your work. You will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle any challenge.

The Benefits of Taking Breaks

As mentioned, taking regular breaks helps improve productivity. But, this is not the only advantage of getting away from your work. Here are a few other reasons to give yourself a break:

  • Increase your creativity and gain inspiration
  • Improve the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain
  • Get a chance to boost your energy with caffeine
  • Give your eyes a chance to rest and avoid eye strain

When you take the time to get away from your workspace and do something else, you can increase your creativity. When you sit in the same position for an extended period of time, your mind begins to wander and your thoughts become dulled. You also limit your blood circulation and could end up with eye strain – which can lead to headaches and fatigue.

By taking a break, you will avoid these issues. You can gain inspiration during your break by talking to a friend. You can improve your flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which helps prevent mental exhaustion. You also have the chance to refill your energy level with a quick shot of caffeine.

So, those are a few of the main reasons why you need to take a break. But, how do you go about taking a break? You would think that this should be simple. Unfortunately, it is easy to allow your break to go on too long or waste valuable time browsing the web. Use the following tips to avoid those mistakes, so that you can get the most out of your break time.

Get Up and Walk Around

When it comes time to take a break, it is not a good idea to remain seated in the same position. You will limit the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. After several hours, you will definitely notice the signs of fatigue setting in.

Instead of staying in your seat, you need to get up and walk around. As mentioned, this gets your blood flowing and gives you a chance to get away from whatever you are working on. Even if you do not go anywhere or do anything during your break, you should at least walk around the room and stretch your legs.

Take a Short Cat Nap

While there are benefits to napping, if you sleep too long you will find yourself more tired than you were before the nap. The reason for this is that after about one-hour of sleep, you enter a deeper sleep. Awakening from this slumber you are disrupting your sleep cycle, which can lead to drowsiness and mental fatigue.

If you feel that you must take a nap, then take a short cat nap. Sleep for 10 to 20-minutes. This is enough time to help refresh your brain. You will awake feeling refreshed and ready for work.

Take a 5-Minute Break

A cat nap in the middle of the day can do wonders for your mental energy, but you do not want to fill your day with these naps. For the majority of your breaks, you should limit yourself to 5-minutes of break time. These breaks are meant as a momentary solution for getting away from your work and clearing your mind.

Learn How to Block a Website

Spending 5-minutes on Facebook can quickly turn into 30-minutes, as you scroll through the feed. If you tend to have trouble avoiding social media sites during your break, then learn how to block a website.

You do not need to completely block all websites. But, you can block specific URLs. For example, if you visit Facebook or Twitter constantly, then block those two URLs. There is software available to help with this, but they are difficult to use. That is why I am currently hard at work on software that will allow you to restrict access to the internet. You will be able to use this software to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. Once you complete your daily tasks, you could feel free to browse the web. 

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Set a Hard Stop Time

For example, if you are using the FindFocus Productivity Planner to properly plan out your day, then you should have set a “hard stop” time.

This is a set time when you will call it quits for the day. With the software that I am developing, you will then be able to block yourself from visiting specific sites during this time.

Make Sure That You Start Scheduling Your Breaks

It is not always easy to remember to take your breaks. If you are not careful, you may end up working for far too long, which leads to mental fatigue, resulting in a major drop in productivity. The FindFocus Productivity Planner can help you remember to take these short breaks.

Take a 5 Minute Break

If you look at the first page of the planner, there is a column on the right-hand side, where you can write down your activities throughout the day, divided into 15-minute increments – from 6AM to 10PM. Within every 30 to 60-minute block, place a mark when you take a break. You can then check and see the last time that you took a break.

The average US adult works about 47 hours per week. Many of us struggle to find the time to take a lunch – let alone a 5-minute break.

If you want to find focus and remain productive, you need to take regular breaks. Every 25 to 55-minutes, you should take a 5-minute break. Get up and walk around for a few minutes, stretch your legs, and do not waste your time browsing the web.

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Martin Boeddeker

Martin Boeddeker is the founder of, the One-Page Productivity Planner and the mind behind the FindFocus Distraction Blocker for Mac. He studied industrial engineering and management in Germany and worked for some of the biggest companies in the world. With FindFocus he wants to help people to get rid of what he calls DigitalADD so they focus on the things that truly matter in life.