The last few weeks have been nonstop busy for me and my household. From traveling for events to hosting birthday parties, it seems like the items on my Reminders app have been exponentially increasing. Whether we're in school having just finished a week of midterms or we have kids who are transitioning from one sport to the next, maybe you can relate.
On any given day, taking short, 10-15 minute breaks is a necessity. My typical break includes the following: stand up, open my phone, walk around the house scrolling on an app, catch up on a few text messages, sit back down.
The problem is that research tells us this isn't a break at all. In one study, over 400 adults were given the same tasks to complete and problems to solve. They were split into four groups, each group being required to take a different type of break. Those individuals that took breaks scrolling on their phones were the least effective at solving the tasks and problems after returning from their break.
The research tells us that when we are on our phones, sometimes our brains are working even harder than when we are doing actual work, just in different ways.
Taking a break on our phones is, in fact, not a break at all.
So how can we take better breaks? The simplest answer is to avoid our cell phones. The clearer answer can include a number of different ideas.
Here are a few to consider:
-Take a short walk
-Move around the house while listening to three or four of your favorite songs
-Make a snack
-Take a power nap (20-25 minutes)
-Do a puzzle (sudoku, crossword, etc...)
If we want to be more productive, let's start by taking better breaks.
Give the breaks you take a rating from 1-10. Aim to improve that number by 2 points this week.
Do you take consistent or inconsistent breaks throughout the day? Would changing it up help you take better breaks?
“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.” - Russell Eric Dobda