written by
Mayukh Saha

Science Says Taking Breaks Actually Increases Your Productivity!

Productivity 3 min read

Working? Maybe reading this is one of the small breaks that you took from work?
You might already be feeling guilty about it and might be trying to find some way to rationalize taking this ‘break’.
Well, I'm going to say good for you for taking it - this article is all about that! We are somehow always guilt-tripped into believing taking breaks is terrible. It makes us seem ‘less productive’ and ‘lazy’.

It doesn’t matter if you are working in a 9-5 job or building your business - everything requires hard work. And even if you are passionate about it, your work will become mundane at one point. Repetition becomes boring. You end up working yourself into a state of complete burnout. In the end, you stop ‘liking’ your passionate job and start taking it as a ‘job-to-be-completed-as-fast-as-possible’ task. In the end, the quality falls and when you look back, you feel worse.

To prevent such a state, you should take enough breaks. There are many scientific studies that back up the necessity of taking breaks during work.

Sound weird?

Well, most of us are not quite aware of the power of taking a brief pause. First, let’s look at some scientific data that encourages us to take these little breathers:

1. Tackling Boredom

guy in the dark with his face lit up by computer screen
Photographer: Julien-Pier Belanger | Source: Unsplash

Evolution plays a huge role in deciding why we get bored when we are working on something for a long time. Our brain has evolved to be vigilant - we are always trying to detect any kind of surrounding changes that might harm us. Our survival is based on it. So, paying attention to just one task can make us unfocused and zoned out. The best way is to deactivate a goal, and then reactivate it after some time. That way, we gain back our lost focus.

2. Retaining Information

Reading with magnifying glass
Photographer: João Silas | Source: Unsplash

Our brain has two modes: Focus mode and Diffuse mode.
We use the focused mode to learn new things and do certain work like writing. In diffuse mode, we start daydreaming, so it seems like the focused mode is just the thing required for effective working, right?
Well - not quite! Research suggests that when you start daydreaming, different areas of the brain light up. This is the diffused mode period. On the other hand, when focused, you block these areas. Have you ever come across a sudden creative idea while taking a bath? That’s the diffused mode working. When you are in a sticky situation, your ‘diffused mode’ can bring up new solutions - a break is just the way to go for it.

3. Examining Accomplishments

Facebook page of an entrepreneur's social media on desktop and mobile
Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

Finally, when you are working constantly, you may get so lost in the work, you will fail to concentrate on your goals and what you have achieved till now. Rather, if you take a break and then come back to your work, you can start looking at your goals with renewed energy and understand how much you have accomplished. It is also to re-energize yourself before taking up more work. The Harvard Business Review has studied this and found positive results.

So, now you can stop feeling guilty about taking breaks. Taking short breaks can increase your productivity in the long run. So, finding the balance and making breaks a part of your work schedule is key. And if anybody says anything, you can now show them the advantageous evidence. After all, it's hard to argue with science!

Want to know more about how to be more productive at work? Join our Academy and community and discover various techniques and methods to increase your productivity.

You can also learn more about creating a better work-life balance by watching this video.

taking breaks work productivity relax for productivity