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Why Taking a Break is Important for Work Efficiency

Work Efficiency


Studies have concluded that taking a break in between heavy tasks is a healthy habit that leads to work efficiency and productivity.

Why am I talking about this?

Simple. There are those who think that working themselves dry is the best way to be productive and to get more results.

Apparently, if you’re truly serious about getting things done, you need to make sure that you’ll take the time to have a break. This can drastically increase your work efficiency since you’ll tend to avoid firefighting, and the quality of your work remains at a decent level.

So what are the detrimental effects of depriving yourself from break time?

1. Negative implications on health.

Have you ever been so busy attending to the large influx of calls that you forgot to take your lunch? Or you were too focused on getting a task done that you haven’t noticed that you actually feel tired?

This is due to the fact that when your brain is shifted to “focus-mode” which gives exceptional importance to a specific task, it disregards all unnecessary information that may disrupt you—sort of a ‘mind over matter’ thing.

Forgetting to take a break will take its toll on your mind and body. This could lead to hyperacidity, anxiety, fatigue, and mental exhaustion.

2. Loss of attention.

According to a study conducted by Professor Lleras, results have intriguingly suggested that the absence of break intervals in between tasks actually causes loss of focus since the brain was not made to sustain prolonged attention.

This is due to a phenomenon called Habituation which simply means that when we are constantly attending to a stimulus, we become too familiar with it thus, the brain no longer finds the need to process it. For more information, read this.

Now that you know the negative effects of break time deprivation, you should take a break by:

1. Reassessing your goals.

Are you still accomplishing your task efficiently or are you just another zombie that just painstakingly complies to get the job done?

Since we lose focus when we attempt to switch to ‘binge-concentration’ mode when peak hours rush in, it is important to give yourself a moment of reprieve so you don’t lose sight of your goals.

2. Doing something productive.

Walk around, eat something, talk to your coworkers, close your eyes, relax to soothing music or take a day-off—these are a number of ways of how you can spend your break time.

HOWEVER, allotting your time on Social Media in between work hours is counterproductive. In his article, David Rock mentioned that:
“Social media can be so rewarding, that it overwhelms our ability to focus on other things.”

3. Daydreaming.

As surprising as it may sound, taking a moment to daydream or to ‘zone out’ is needed to get the job done.

We learned that the brain is unable to register meaningful information when it is switched to focus mode for long periods of time. Our brains need periods of rest too! And the best way to do that is to pause and daydream.

When we wander, we actually stimulate more activities in the brain which in turn helps us in accomplishing tasks. For more information on daydreaming, refer to this article.


Don’t feel guilty! Learn how to take a break. It’s exactly what you need for better work efficiency.

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Photo courtesy – © Gajus /Dollarphotoclub.com

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