4 effective ways to take breaks while working (from home) – from microbreak to intermittent resting

An important aspect of working is taking breaks. However, there is a chance that the break will be missed, especially now that many are working from home due to the corona crisis and the structure of the office has disappeared. It’s better not to miss the break, because breaks make you more creative and productive, make better decisions, keep your motivation up and help your brain learn and remember things, Psychology Today writes based on several studies.

Pauses allow you to recharge and reset. If you don’t, it can lead to stress and fatigue and burnout in the long run. Breaks are just as important as getting enough sleep and regular exercise, writes the American Psychological Association. “By taking regular breaks, we are more resilient when stress sets in and we can better deal with everyday life,” Charlotte Fritz, an associate professor of organizational psychology at Portland State University, told the union.

But one break is not the other. Various studies have shown that a break consisting of eating food at your computer is not actually a break. Your body and mind hardly benefit from this. It is certain that you really have to stop working for a while. But how do you proceed further? What should you do during a break, how often should you take a break and how long should it last?

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Businesss Insider listed four ways to take a break. Micro breaks: short breaks during the day

Take small breaks during the day and you can concentrate better, develop a more positive work experience and perform better. In addition, you prevent ailments that arise by sitting all day, according to various studies.

The micro-break was born in the 1980s, when researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Ohio and Purdue University in Indiana wanted to find out whether small breaks during the day could increase productivity and reduce stress, the BBC writes on the subject. . That turned out not to be the case at all. In their study, the researchers had 20 participants perform repetitive tasks. After 40 minutes of work, they were given a 27 second micro-break. The participants did not leave their workplace. It turned out that some tasks were performed worse after a break, such as typing less quickly. A striking positive effect was that the participants’ heart rates decreased after a small break, which may indicate that they were more relaxed afterwards. In addition, their work also needed little correction. More studies have now been conducted which show, among other things, that a minuscule pause of 5 seconds already increases concentration.The effect was also mainly seen in employees who were less involved in their work at the start of the study. Exactly what the micropause looks like and how long it should last remains a mystery. According to microbreak expert Sooyeol Kim, who spoke to the BBC last year, there are two rules: they must be short and voluntary. Kim conducted the research with the sales team. It also found that employees were more productive and positive about their work when they engaged in certain activities during their micro-break. Relaxing and chatting with colleagues yielded more than surfing the internet. The fact that eating and drinking does not yield any results in this study could be because it is often accompanied by other activities such as socializing. Therefore, its impact is more difficult to measure. But it could also be that the other breaks were simply more fun. “Just taking away your hunger or thirst makes you happy?” Kim told the BBC. “Sometimes it’s just taking your discomfort away.”

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And snacking to create a break shouldn’t be necessary.

It is important that the studies show that fiddling for 5 seconds or half a minute is not a waste of time, but time for your brain to recharge. A little aimless surfing on the internet (provided it doesn’t take up more than 12 percent of the workday) also makes you more productive and focused, just like staring at a meadow in bloom or watching a funny movie. If you also want to please your body, then it is important to fill in your micro-break with some exercise. Your back, neck, shoulders, arms, hips and legs don’t benefit from a funny movie. “It’s better to get up or change position,” ergonomist and psychotherapist Katharine Metters told the BBC. She recommends micro breaks to all of her clients. Don’t wait to get up until you are in pain. Then it’s too late, ergonomics advisor Zaheer Osman told the BBC. He has a tip to get up from your kitchen/office chair in time. “Put a large bottle of water on your desk. That way you have to get up to go to the toilet and you stay hydrated.”

2. Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break

  • The pomodoro technique actually gives a concrete interpretation to the micropause. You work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. The method originated from the mind of Francesco Cirillo, just like the micropause in the 1980s, and has become a classic. The pomodoro technique has something to do with tomatoes in that, during his college days, Cirillo used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to mark off 25 minutes of work and a 5-minute break. This way the people around him knew that you didn’t have to disturb Cirillo during a ‘pomodoro’ (the 25-minute interval) and he kept distractions at bay.As long as it’s something that needs your full attention. Write them down. Set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes and make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task and not distract myself. After all, it’s only 25 minutes. Work on the task until the kitchen timer goes off. If you realize in between that you also have to do something else, write this task down.
  • Congratulate yourself on having worked on a task for 25 minutes and check off this ‘pomodoro’.
  • Take a 5 minute break. Breathe, meditate, have a cup of coffee or do something else that gives you peace of mind. As long as it’s not work related. If you have worked four pomodoros for a long time with a 5-minute break in between, then it is time for a longer break of 20 or 30 minutes. According to Cirillo, your brain uses this time to process and recharge all the information for the next four pomodoros. According to Cirillo, there are now 2 million people who have used his technique to become more productive, more focused and even smarter. For many people, time is an enemy, he says. We race against the clock to complete assignments and meet deadlines. “The pomodoro technique teaches you to work with time instead of struggling with it.”

The technique only requires a kitchen timer, pen, paper and your full attention during those 25 minutes. But if you think you need a helping hand, there are apps that can help you complete pomodoros.

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3. 52 minutes of work, 17 minutes of break

25-minute sprints don’t work for you? Try dedicating 52 minutes to a task and then take a 17-minute break. Yes, that sounds a bit random. Why not 50 minutes and a quarter?

The Desktime app looked at what the 10 percent most productive users have in common. Desktime keeps track of when you work and when you stop and calculates productivity. It turned out that the most productive workers don’t work 8 hours a day. Breaks were the secret recipe for productivity, Business Insider previously wrote. The most productive types showed a sprint of intensive work and a short break to recharge. The ideal ratio is a 52-minute work sprint followed by a 17-minute break, Desktime showed. As with the pomodoro method, the point here is not to work harder but smarter by fully concentrating for a period of time. In other words, you work with a clear goal in mind that you are completely committed to. 90-120 minutes work, 20 minutes break (intermittent resting)

Another way to schedule breaks is to take a much longer sprint and a longer break. Work for 90 to 120 minutes at a time and then take a 20 minute break. This follows the natural cycle of your brain.He also found that the brain follows a similar pattern during the day, writes Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project and author of several books on productivity. At the beginning of the cycle of about 90 minutes, the brain is more active than at the end of the cycle. After a cycle, your brain goes from focus mode to wander mode where our thoughts take free rein. The moment we can’t concentrate anymore, we dismiss it as a dip and so we throw in a cup of coffee to buffalo for a few more hours. That’s when you tap into your body’s reserves, Schwartz says, which can lead to fatigue and, if you do this often, burnout. He recommends 90 minutes of intense work and then a break. He does not specify how long the break should last, but a guideline could be research by scientist Anders Ericsson from 1993. This showed that the best violinists, athletes, writers and chess players all alternated 90 minutes of work with a 20 minute break. The 90-20 method is also known as intermittent resting, coined by British fitness and yoga expert Nahid de Belgeonne in the Metro daily. According to her, the “dip” at the end of a cycle lasts about 20 minutes, a good time to rest. “You must have noticed that your energy level and mood change throughout the day. It is important to facilitate that in order to remain productive.”

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Author: Jobly