The idea of the eight-hour workday is a bit of a misnomer. We shouldn’t work for eight hours straight because our brains need breaks! Our eyes get tired staring at screens; our legs get tired standing for hours on end; our minds need to stop working so hard, every so often, in order to be productive.
Taking a few breaks during the day makes things better. Here’s why.
- Taking breaks makes you more productive. Research from the University of Illinois suggests taking breaks gives your brain a chance to refresh and refocus, helping us concentrate better and handle our tasks more efficiently without struggling so much to focus on the job at hand. It might seem counterintuitive but it’s true!
- Reduce stress and feelings of burnout. Stepping away from your desk for a few minutes, a few times per day, can help you reassess what needs to be done and to get a better perspective on priorities — what’s really a top priority and what can wait a little while. Moving around, looking at something other than the work in front of you, helps to break the cycle of stressing about what to do next or the feeling that you’ll never get everything done.
- Eat better, feel better. Taking a lunch break in the middle of the day, or around that time, gives your body and mind a chance to refuel. Whether you sit at your desk or, ideally, in a different location, maybe with coworkers, can help you hit the reset button and engage other parts of your brain and personality, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Plus, all that work makes a body hungry! Eating lunch, or dinner if you work a later shift, keeps your body and mind powered and provides the sustenance you need, as a person, to keep going until the job is done.
- Being social is good for your job. Talking with your coworkers, or texting or calling a friend on a break, helps alleviate that mental stress that builds up during the work day. People who aren’t as fixated or deep into the work you, personally, are doing can help break the metal logjam of an unsolvable problem, or can provide the comedic relief that can help reduce stress. Distractions can be good! Giving your brain something else to think about, even if it feels like nothing at all, is important.
- Improve your creativity. If all you can see is what’s in front of you, you’ll never think of new solutions, new options, new ideas or new approaches. Walking away from your desk, and that thing you’ve been working on for hours on end, can help shake off the proverbial dust and break free some new ideas. Maybe you’ve been trying to figure out a budgeting problem, or a supply chain issue, or you can’t figure out why something isn’t working. You walk away to get some water. You start to talk with a friend or colleague about something completely unrelated, giving your mind a rest from intense concentration, and all of a sudden BOOM! There’s a brilliant idea, out of nowhere.
We might be on the clock for eight hours, but make sure you’re not spending that entire time sitting at your desk or standing at your workstation. Move around from time to time, get the blood flowing and the water hydrating and the friendly conversation going. See how much better you feel and how much more you can get done!
If you’re feeling stuck, or like you can’t take a break without derailing an overloaded train, call Davis Staffing. We’re ready and eager to help you find a great new job that will be better for your overall health while making you feel happier and more productive too. Contact Davis Staffing today and let’s get to work!