What’s the best way to be more productive, keep the ideas coming and get the creative juices flowing?
A growing body of evidence shows that when you take regular breaks from mental tasks you’ll actually become more productive and creative. Skipping breaks? That can lead to stress, exhaustion and burnout.
If you’re “in the zone” by all means keep going. What’s draining is when you feel forced to go on.
Just like your muscles need rest between repetitions, your brain needs a rest after mental concentration. And since you wouldn’t feel guilty about taking a rest while exercising, you shouldn’t feel guilty about stepping away from the computer and detaching for a bit to recharge your batteries.
What are some good ways do take this much needed downtime during the day?
• Move. Go to the gym or take a walk outside, making time to smell the roses or notice the architecture.The inventor of Velcro, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral, got the idea after going out on a hunting trip with his dog in the Swiss Alps and getting covered in burrs. Einstein was said to have come up with his Theory of Relativity while riding his bicycle.
• Read. Take a book or a magazine in another room and lose yourself in a different topic for a while. It’s amazing that your brain can come up with solutions and ideas even while you are processing something else.
• Eat. Take a coffee or lunch break – and don’t eat at your desk! This is a good time to practice your connectworking skills, so use the time to connect or reconnect with someone else and share a meal together.
However you hit your own personal refresh button, what really matters is committing to giving yourself a time out so you can return ready for action.