How wasting time at work increases productivity
Our workaholic culture typically villainizes time-wasting behaviors during work . YET the research shows that breaks can improve performance, improving both decision-making, memory, and creativity. While lengthy attention to a task can impede performance.
During rest periods, your brain examines and keeps what it previously learned. Without these rest periods, memory retention is shown to suffer.
So how do we utilize this knowledge? How do we waste time at work to increase our productivity?
1. GIVE YOUR PREFRONTAL CORTEX A BREAK
Your prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain dedicated to logical thinking, executive functioning, and using willpower to override impulses. Letting it rest is as simple as letting your mind wander.
One study found that daydreaming can have similar benefits to meditation.
Physical activity can be beneficial . A 5-minute walking break every hour is all you need. Not only are these walks good for your health, but extensive sitting is terrible for us.
A study from Stanford University revealed that when people undertook mental tasks that needed imagination, walking led to increased creative thinking.
3. THE WATER COOLER
Social breaks are essential for personal and professional well-being. Social breaks strengthen bonds, increase morale, and further opportunities for collaboration.
One study found that people who lingered in the coffee room were not misusing time — they were having productive discussions about work challenges.
Other studies have shown that informal, informal chats between call center operators boosted productivity by 20%.
4. GET GREEN
Flora, fauna, and garden like spaces are not only aesthetically pleasing, but breaks in a natural setting may significantly increase worker well-being, decrease stress, improve innovative potential, and encourage personal relationships.
In several Asian countries, "forest bathing" has become a widespread office practice, just a few minutes in nature has benefits for our mental well-being and our health.
5. EAT… OR SURF THE WEB
According to the University of Roehampton scholar, Leigh Gibson, your mind works optimally with a consistent blood glucose level. So fuel yourself during the day.
At the National University of Singapore, researchers found that surfing the internet "serves an important restorative function."
6. KEEP IT WORK-RELATED
Nearly any mental time-out is useful, as long as you're giving your prefrontal cortex a rest. It is recommended that your breaks should be work-related. Learn something new, think on the big picture, or make bonds with others.
HOW LONG SHOULD MY BREAK BE?
According to MIT Lecturer Bob Pozen, time-out's should be every 75 to 90 minutes. And suggests a 15-minute break.
The Pomodoro Technique suggests working for 25 minutes and taking a five-minute break.