Can Taking a Break Increase Productivity?
Written By: Doreen Dilger, The Home Based Business Coach
Are you working and working but just can't seem to focus and get stuff done? You might be thinking that working from home is much harder than you thought, but there might be simple solution - just take a break. Taking short ten minute breaks throughout the day can help you refocus and reenergize so you're more productive once you get back to work.
Scientists and psychologists have actually done many studies that show how effective breaks can be. In fact, many large businesses have now started adopting break times into the course of the regular day. Employees are actually paid to sit at their desk and read, research topics they enjoy on the Internet, and do other things that interest them. It's been shown that allowing these breaks actually increases productivity and employee satisfaction enough to compensate for the lost time plus some.
This can be applied to working from home. To get the most good out of your breaks, try making your activities something that will help increase production when you return to work, rather than something that simply distracts you. Some great options include aerobic activity such as going for a walk, playing with your dogs or relaxation exercises. They'll clear your mind, while producing chemicals in your body that will boost concentration when you get back to work.
If physical exercise isn't your thing, or you just don't have the chance to do it at due to a deadline, there are other things you can do to relax and clear your mind so you can get back to work. Meditation or other breathing exercises only take a few minutes, but can help you feel better mentally and physically. Not only does it help you focus, it can also lower your blood pressure and help reduce the physical signs of stress.
The biggest danger in taking breaks is not getting back to work when the break is done. Working from home there are a lot of distractions and people will try to skip breaks because they're afraid they won't get back to work and the work won't get done. But when you skip breaks, you can significantly decrease productivity and actually end up getting less work done. The key is setting a time limit to your breaks and sticking to them. If you have trouble, try setting a timer when you take a break, or having someone back you up such as a family member by making sure you get back to work.
If you've been pushing too hard and have reached burnout, a ten minute break just isn't going to be enough. If you are finding yourself feeling sick, tired, and only ever in a negative mood, especially about work, you are probably burnt out by work. In this case, you not only need to incorporate short breaks into your day, you also need to alter your how and when you work and may even need an extended vacation. Working with a business coach will also help you determine where you are spinning your wheels.
Breaks are an easy and effective way to increase your results and become more successful with very little effort.
If you have a home business challenge you'd like a solution to, please share it here or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may see your issue solved in a future blog episode.
About the Author: Doreen Dilger is a Certified Manifest Method Coach, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of Women Empowering Women Now.