Taking More Breaks Helps Productivity

File:Sleeping Cat on lap.jpgThere’s a fine line between taking a break and procrastinating.  In my world, an unplanned break leads to procrastination, while a planned break leads to a super productive day.

The main reason for this is that when I work all day to complete a task, I burn out my focus.  When I lose focus, I get less done.

On the other hand, If I break my work up into one hour chunks with pre-planned 15 to 30 minute breaks at a designated time, I notice that I start working faster the closer I get to the time when my break is scheduled to start.

When I schedule my day this way, I won’t take a lunch either.  So the net hours worked in the day goes up even though I am breaking more often.  So in my typical 12 hour workday, I end up with 8 to 10 productive working hours and 2 to 4 hours of break time.  In addition, I often find that I am able to get in the zone after the first half of my day and end up not needing any breaks at all as the day comes to an end.

When I first started trying this method, I have to admit that breaking after every hour of work made me feel a bit guilty.  My initial thought was that I was being a slacker.  As it turns out though, when I get in the zone I do my best work and I don’t often get in the zone when I start my day working straight through to lunch.  This method often leads me to an unfocused afternoon filled with procrastination activities such as surfing the web and chatting with colleagues.

I am a true believer in taking more breaks to boost productivity.  What do you think?  Will this method work for you?