There’s never enough time in the day!
We always hear people say, I don’t have enough hours in the day. Does this sound like you? Are you sitting at your computer, typing away at a keyboard all day still thinking you didn’t get as much work done as you thought you would? It seems that we try to schedule breaks in throughout the day, but things come up, meetings run longer and deadlines are needed to be met. But what if you knew that the longer you worked, the less productive you may be?
Since many people have the same struggle throughout their work day, I will share some stats and tips that can help increase your productivity during your day.
Does it feel like the last time you looked at the clock it was 9:30 and now it’s noon and you don’t even feel like you have time to take a lunch break? Well, you’re not alone and many people do not know why they cannot get as many things done as they have planned each day. The main question to ask yourself is how many breaks are you taking each day?
Resting is Important
When you workout, you perform a set of reps, take a break then continue to the next set. To see better results and replenish your energy, you need to rest in between each set. This is true during your work day as well. Many people tend to skip lunch or try to work continuously for hours, thinking they are being more productive. But in reality they may not have the energy or fresh mind to accomplish the goals they would like to because they are mentally tired and may not even be aware of it.
Tips for a more productive day:
Take a break every 52 minutes. This may seem unrealistic in some peoples world but in a study performed by The Draugiem Group, it showed higher levels of productivity when workers took short breaks every 52 minutes. They found out that top 10% of employees with the highest productivity, surprisingly didn’t work extra hours with the breaks added into their day.
The key to their success is what they did on these breaks as well. They stepped away from the computer, no checking emails or voicemails, they did not log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, they did not discuss work. The study shows that they took a walk, read a book or chatted with co-workers (not discussing their workday). Here at NEXTFLY, we like to be as productive as we can. Twice a day a few of us take laps, as we call them, around the buildings or property and just talk and enjoy the warm sun. It’s not only an escape from staring at the computer screen or typing away at your keyboard, but it is a mental break and refresh so we come back with a fresh mind.
Skipping lunch is also something that many people do. Does a car run without gas? Well, your body won’t with no fuel. Recharging your energy is one of the most important things of the day.
The Importance of Breaks
- Breaks keep us from staying focused and not losing interest – Sometimes we get in a groove and our mind can create or come with ideas very quickly. We start knocking out projects fast and our mind is working properly. Then all of the sudden, we become less focused and our mind may start to wonder. This is how the brain is built, we are not meant to focus on something for an extended period of time. But the good news is, this can be fixed by a simple break and restart.
- Breaks help us take in information – If your brain is on overload, how much information can you really retain? When you’re in a seminar/meeting/conference you normally don’t sit in them for 8 hours. They have breaks to allow people to eat, breathe, and refocus. This should be the same with your work day.
- Breaks help revaluate the purpose – Taking a step back, will allow your brain to turn off and look at the project/work in a whole new meaning.
The best ways to fit your breaks in are:
- Schedule breaks into your work calendar.
- Set a reminder when to start and stop your break
- Make to do lists that you can follow – allow time for breaks, errors, and interruptions
Prioritize your tasks – Start off by making deadlines, pick the most important tasks for that day and then add in tasks as they come up on a separate list. It is not so overwhelming to look at a small list, opposed to a list of 20 tasks that you very well may not be able to get to. Once you accomplish the main or largest tasks, add a few more tasks to the list, once your main ones are crossed off.
Hopefully, this will help increase your productivity and you are able to find time in your day to recharge, take a step back and feel more productive.