Believe it or not breaks increase productivity. So, if you want to do more and perform at your best, you need to start taking more breaks. But, isn’t taking a break counter-intuitive if I want boost productivity at work? Well, if you believe that taking short breaks will lower your productivity, you’re in for a surprise.

Many studies have actually discovered that when you take a short break, like getting yourself a cup of coffee or taking a quick stroll at the park, you recharge your energy and replenish your willpower to tackle your tasks more efficiently than before.

Ever wonder why sometimes it takes a longer time to write an article at 4 PM than it does at 10 AM? Well, this is due to the different energy levels you’re in. In the morning, when most people just wake up from a good rest, they feel energetic and able to focus better.

On the contrary, in the late afternoon like 4 PM, most people have used up most of their energy and if they don’t take any breaks and continue to work, their productivity suffers.

This is why it is so much more difficult to write an article at 4 PM when you used up most of your energy in the morning. It makes things way more difficult, especially focusing on the tasks at hand.

And hence, this is why you need to take short breaks throughout the day to maintain your energy level so that you can perform at your peak.

According to this article from Edutopia.org:

“Regular breaks throughout the school day—from short brain breaks in the classroom to the longer break of recess—are not simply downtime for students. Such breaks increase their productivity and provide them with opportunities to develop creativity and social skills.”

Yes, take more short breaks throughout your day to improve your creativity and productivity.

But, how do you take short breaks? How do you schedule your breaks so that they won’t interfere with your productive work? Here are a couple of tips…


1. Follow Your Natural Rhythm

One of the easiest ways to gauge whether or not you should take a short break is to follow your natural rhythm. You will know when you feel tired, stress, and can’t concentrate. And that’s the cue that perhaps, you should walk away from your work and take a quick 5 minute break.

In my case, whenever I find that I can’t focus on doing my work, like writing articles or creating content for my blog, I will stop and just take a short 5 minute break. I will go to the toilet, listen to my favorite song, or go and make a cup of coffee. After that, I will come back to my work and discover that I’m able to focus better.

Your body knows when you need to stop and when you need to push on. Just trust your natural rhythm and keep an eye on your energy level.

2. Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique suggests you work for 25 minutes and then take a quick 5 minute break. This 30-minute cycle is called a ‘Pomodoro’. After 4 ‘Pomodoro’ cycles, you should take a longer 30 minute break before you get back to work again.

This technique is good because it makes sure you will never miss out on taking the breaks and so you will have longer-lasting energy that allows you to focus better throughout the day.

Of course, you don’t have to stick to the Pomodoro Technique if you find that 25 minutes is too short. You can always make your productivity duration longer. For instance, you could work for 50 minutes and then only take a 10 minute break.

A study from DeskTime discovered that most productive office workers work at an average of 52 minutes before taking a 17 minute break.

Therefore, you can always customize the Pomodoro Technique to fit and work best for you. If you think you can focus longer, then, by all means, work for 50 minutes or so and take a 10 minute break before you continue your work again.

3. Schedule Your Breaks

Look at your calendar, if your calendar is filled with only work but no break, it can make you feel dreaded. But when you see that there are breaks in your schedule, you will at least feel a breather.

The key is to schedule breaks into your calendar. Make breaks as a part of your daily routine. For instance, don’t schedule any work from 3 PM to 3:30 PM. During those 30 minutes, you will take a break and do things that delight you.

This way, you will make sure you incorporate breaks into your daily work routine. The key is to take a break so that you give yourself a chance to recharge and replenish your energy.

Now that you understand why and when to take a break, but how are you going to do it? What can you do to take breaks? Here are some suggestions…

Get Outdoors

When you stay long hours in the office with artificial lighting and a stressful environment, it is a good idea to get a quick escape. Research has found that spending time in nature can help alleviate mental fatigue and relaxing the mind. Taking a 10-minute walk in the park has a lot more benefits than you think.

Exercise and Move Your Body

I bet I don’t have to explain to you that exercise is good for your body. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, boost your energy, and improve your productivity throughout the day. Research from the University of Sao Paulo found that a 10 minute exercise can boost your memory and attention to increase your performance for the day.

Do Nothing

Yes, you read that right. Simply sitting and doing nothing is a great way to refresh your mind. Just let your mind wander and let your thoughts run automatically. It has a similar effect as meditation.

When you stop paying attention, your brain’s Default Mode Network will take over and this helps improve problem-solving and allows for creativity to soar. Ever wonder why most great ideas come during the shower or when you’re doing nothing?


Another great break that improves productivity is meditation. You can simply close your eyes, get still, and meditate on one thing, or nothing. It doesn’t really matter what it is, so long as you aim to be intention about getting your mind still and focused.

So, even it if is just for a few short minutes, meditation can be a powerful way to spend your scheduled breaks.

Take a Quick Power Nap

Taking a short power nap is one of my personal favorites. You have to understand that the secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time but your energy. You can’t make more time, but you can manage your energy so that you can perform at your best at all times. When you feel tired, sleepy, and need a quick energy boost, take a short 20 to 30 minute nap. After you wake up, you will feel more alert, energetic, and able to tackle your work and focus better.


Taking a short break has been scientifically proven to be useful in recharging your energy and help you focus and perform better at work.

Most people look at taking breaks as something lazy or unproductive, but now you know that this is far from the truth. When you take breaks, you are recharging yourself to go further.

Always remember that you can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself, which is your energy. Hence, when you know how to maintain your energy at an optimum level, you can perform at your best throughout the day.

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