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Why Taking A Break Makes You More Productive

By Virginia Palomar
Updated January 8, 2015

Many people believe that vacationing refreshes the mind, and they are right. Studies show that having a holiday for a week or so reduces work-related pressure, allowing the brain to experience a reduced amount of stress.

When vacationers arrive back home they have greater energy than before they went away and are more productive.

However, the extra zing that people acquire after a vacation does not last long. Research suggests that taking regular breaks every day results in the most benefits that stem from not constantly feeding the mind with information.

Modern life usually involves dealing with vast amounts of data, which the brain has to accommodate. After hours in the office working without time off people experience information overload and burnout occurs. Having a break provides a necessary change.

When you take some time out from your busy schedule, you might imagine that your brain rests and this is why you feel better.

In fact, your mind does not switch off; it continues to function, but in a different manner than when you gather information.

In a similar way to how your mind operates during sleep, when daydreams occur, your brain consolidates memories and sifts through information. Consequently, doing less might mean you achieve more since your brain is sharper, you have more mental energy and are ready to accommodate further data after taking it easy.

At the same time, a break can increase motivation. If you are in the depths of burnout from continuously working, you simply do not want to keep going.

Your mind sends you the message that it needs to conduct the process of dealing with input. If you respond by stopping work, your brain engages in the restorative process that makes it fire on all cylinders again.

Nevertheless, the type of break you take can make a difference to the amount of benefit you obtain from rest. Studies reveal that walking in a forest is more advantageous than strolling through a city when it comes to how productive you are afterward. Your mind can do a superior job under the influence of peace and tranquility.

There again, could a change be as good as a rest? Possibly, since when you alter your usual behaviors different parts of your brain fire up. Exercising others parts of your mind allows the areas that you typically use to recover. The process is similar to physical exercise. If you usually train hard in a gym and then switch to cycling, the parts of your body that you use during a strenuous workout can recuperate. You still exercise rather than sitting in a chair, but you benefit from the change.

Studies show that meditation can be helpful if you want to increase productivity. Regularly meditating, rather than doing so for hours occasionally, helps you attain a clearer mind, greater awareness and focused attention.

An accumulation of research indicates that resting several times per day, including during office hours, makes people more industrious. Furthermore, spending time amongst nature and meditating is more beneficial than taking a break among the hustle and bustle of an urban metropolis.

If you are not convinced, imagining that productivity is simply the result of willpower, consider that highly effective and successful people achieve their best work during just four hours of the day.

Pin It They intersperse their work with a rest instead of attempting to force the fruits of their labors to materialize when their brains are full.

In order to be super-productive, be kind to your mind and give it a rest. Better still, do not wait until you experience brain fog to take a break, schedule regular breaks in your day and reap the benefits of having a mind that functions at its full capacity.

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Katherine Hurst
By Virginia Palomar
Virginia’s mother was the person to first introduce meditation to her, and has been fascinated ever since. How can I mind be taken to such a calm and peaceful state whilst still being awake? Her calling was to find out more, and help others to do the same! Now, Virginia specializes in Mindfulness Based Integral Psychotherapy and Life Coaching, and teaches her clients how to find sustainable relief from addictions, depression, anxiety and trauma-related distress disorders.

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