There’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?