You most likely have heard the old adage of “it is not about working hard, it is about working smart.” You can work 15 hours a day at your job or home business, but if you are not productive or are disorganised, you will get less done in that time than someone else who only works five hours a day. It is all about increasing your productivity, and increasing your productivity has very little to do with working harder at a job. This does not mean you are going to work poorly, it just means you are going to be working in a smarter manner.
First, you have been led to believe that breaks are a good way to get nothing done. Your boss probably limits your breaks to get the most work out of you. There was even a time when workers had no breaks during the day, believing that it lowered productivity. Well, this kind of thinking is incorrect. Think about it similar to a car. You can drive the car constantly, without stopping, and you will get a lot farther in your journey than if you take frequent stops…for a time. Eventually, your car is going to run out of gas or even break down. Well, the human body is the same way. If you do not stop to take some breaks, you are going to run out of gas. Work as hard as you want, like the car, but once you run out of gas, you are not getting anything done. Best to just take those breaks when you need them, so you can recharge both your body and your mind.
Studies have found that humans can focus for 90 minutes at a time. So, work for an hour and a half, then take a 20 minute break. This will make you more productive. Those 20-minute breaks can even be power naps. Research has found that napping leads to greater cognitive functioning, and better memory performance. Yes, you read that right. Napping during the workday can increase your productivity.
Second, humans are animals, just really, really smart animals. Animals belong in nature, and too often people spend their time away from nature. There are few better ways to get productive than by spending some time out in nature. An experiment in the book Focus: The Hidden Power of Excellence, tested how relaxed people were when walking down a street versus a park. It was found that the attention of a person walking down a street is too high for the brain to relax, as a result, the brain does not get any down time and this will impact productivity. Going out in nature will help your mind fully relax and unwind, which allows you to work longer when you return to work.
Close your web browser. Unless your job involves using the Internet a lot, close out your browser. The Internet has created a lot of opportunities for people, but it also hinders productivity. All it takes is one visit to Facebook, which turns into viewing a video someone shared, which turns into viewing the next video on the playlist, which turns into looking up information on something you saw in the video, which takes you down the deep rabbit hole that is Wikipedia page hopping. Before you know it, that quick check of Facebook has resulted in a two-hour unproductive venture from work. If you want to check your e-mail and Facebook, do it when you take your 20-minute break.