I’ve just been reading an interesting blog post from ‘Desktime Insight’s’. It stated an obvious fact, but one that’s good to be reminded of. “A person can’t be 100% productive all day. As much as you want to make the most of every minute, to get stuff done, to hustle, it’s just not humanly possible. Concentration is like a muscle, it needs to rest to be able to function, and it shouldn’t be overworked, otherwise it’ll simply burn out and take longer to get back into the swing of things.”
By allowing yourself time to stop, and breathe, you aren’t wasting time. Infact the opposite, you are using your time more effectively.
According to the study the most productive people focus on a work task for 52 minutes, then break for 17 minutes. The important thing is trying to focus on one task 100%, which for many of us is the tough bit. So it’s not just having a quick check of email or facebook. If you’re working, then work 100%. If you’re relaxing, relax 100%.
So for the highest level of productivity over the span of a work day, it’s not working longer, but working smarter with frequent breaks.
During that break, some form of physical exercise, a walk outside for instance, is ideal. I wouldn’t leap up from your desk into a star jump or hit the floor and do 10 press ups, as you could cause an injury. I learnt that the hard way when revising for my A-level Biology exam, a long time ago. I was starting to flag so thought I’d re -energise with a quick bit of exercise, leapt up from my chair, went straight into a high impact move, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder. This resulted in a lot of pain the next day, some very strong painkillers, lots of praying, and a slightly fuzzy memory of what I actually wrote in the exam! So if you are keen to do some high interval training, which is a great way to do a short burst of exercise, please always warm up properly first!
So just remember, taking time out of your busy day to breathe, stretch, relax your mind, move your body, have some fun, is really important, and will help you achieve more.