Take a Break!

I’m sure everyone is feeling exhausted by this point in the semester. So much to do, so little time! Am I right?

As someone who juggles several projects at once while frequently being interrupted to attend to others’ cries for help, I go home mentally exhausted without having completed anything on my to-do list some days.  As long as everyone’s cries of help were attended to and resolved, I’ve had a successful day.  Unfortunately though, that just makes my to-do list that much more daunting.

During these times of constant busyness, I’ve found that I’m most productive in conquering my work to-dos when I take a break. Sometimes this means not thinking about work in the evenings or on a weekend, and other times this means taking a walk to another building on campus just to clear my mind. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that moment when you’re just staring at a computer screen (or whatever you’re working on) with a mental block and all focus is lost. That’s when I give up. If I’m not making progress, then I need to step away or work on something else.

Well, according to science, taking mental breaks may increase your productivity. Both Scientific American and the New York Times published articles on why it’s important to take mental breaks. If you’re having trouble finding the time to take a break, utilize your Outlook calendar or phone and schedule in a break. Go to lunch. Take a walk. Get lost in a novel for a few minutes.

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