For the creative mind and work, staying productive can be a challenge, especially in this day and age where Tumblr can suck the life out of you, endless cat gifs abound and your phone is connected to every possible notification -ever. In fact, there are so many distractions in the modern office that there is a project for an Analog Office, a safe haven for the over stimulated soul.
If finding procrastination is your kryptonite and catching some one-on-one time with your muse feels harder than the actual work, this post is for you: we've collected tips, strategies and sources from various studies across the globe to help you stay focused, enjoy more and get more done by taking more and meaningful breaks. Take a look:
Tip 1: Take a Break before Noon
Do you usually take mid-afternoon breaks because that’s the time of the day when you feel the most tired? Well, you better give this a little thought. A study found that taking breaks before noon replenishes energy as it is done earlier in the day. The study also found that the more hours people allowed to pass between starting the work day and taking a break, the more symptoms of bad health they had. That being said, the later you wait to take a break, it won’t be as effective.
Tip 2: Workout during Your Lunch Break
What do you usually do during your one-hour lunch break? A study conducted by Emily Hunter, Ph.D., proved that what really matters when it comes to breaks, is that the activity must consist of something the employee enjoys doing. In other words, find something to do that lowers the stress of your task-filled day, recharging your brain and muscles. How about working out to fight the work-related weight gain? Even supposing it involves logistics and planning on your part, you’ll love this fantastic energy booster!
Tip 3: Take 20 Minute Afternoon Naps
Do you take naps at your workplace? Which time of day do you take these naps? Well, according to an original finding conducted by researchers in a 2013 issue of the journal Sleep and Biological Rhythm, it was demonstrated that a twenty minute afternoon nap reduces switching errors, improving task-switching performance. As you can see, by taking afternoon naps, it will be much easier for you to switch tasks, thus boosting your productivity.
Tip 4: Take 17 Minute Breaks Throughout the Day
DeskTime, a globally-trusted productivity app, studied the performance of its most productive workers and discovered that the highest-performing employees work for 52 ongoing minutes followed by a 17-minute break. Julia Gifford at The Muse, said that those 17 minutes were usually spent by taking a walk or speaking with coworkers. The idea is to be away from your computer to fully take advantage of the break. Just make sure to set your stopwatch for 17 minutes when you get up from your own desk. As you can see, the most productive staff members don't necessarily work the longest hours, but they are smart when it comes to handling their energy to complete tasks in creative and efficient ways.
Tip 5: Chill Out and Watch Cat Gifs
Do you watch cat gifts during your working hours? Don’t stop! A study conducted by a team of Hiroshima University researchers said watching pictures of cute, furry baby animals led university students to do more productive work on any task. Apparently, the tenderness portrayed by these adorable images can dramatically enhance our motor function on the computer. This theory was also proved with another research conducted by the National University of Singapore which reported that "those who spent less than 20 percent of their time perusing the Internet's silly offerings were 9 percent more productive than those who resist going online," sated Rebecca Greenfield reported in the Atlantic Wire. How would have guessed that cat gifs could make us more productive? So, even if you can’t’ work in a dreamy Analog Office just yet, you can always follow these tips to experience less burnout and better job satisfaction at your workplace. Not surprisingly, by taking good breaks, you can also take advantage of a boost in motivation, energy and concentration, leading to less physical ailments. Therefore, to achieve a stress-free, productive work environment, you should really try these five clever tips to find the ones that suit YOU best, whether you’re a designer, copywriter, community manager or programmer. That’s the bottom line.