Why adopting a 60 / 15 schedule can make you more productive.
While browsing through LinkedIn, I came across this article. It makes the argument that taking hourly breaks actually makes you more productive. Today I wanted to explore this theory.
Although the article doesn’t touch upon it, I think it is important to remember the history of the 8-hour work day. This was built around the idea of working while the sun is up. So for 8 hours we would be outside tending to the fields, milking the cows, etc. But once the sun was done working, so were we. The advent of electricity and cell phones and WiFi has booted the 8-hour workweek. We check emails from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. Rarely, do we truly disconnect from work and that is why we need breaks now more than ever.
Based on research out of the Draugiem Group, you should take a 15 minute break after every hour of intense, focused work. So for every 60 minutes on, your brain has earned 15 minutes off.
I know that sounds like a lot, so let’s break it down (pun intended). The first thing you have to do is get intentional about your workday. Set an hourly alarm on your computer and stick to it. Also try planning your day into hour-long chunks. You might find that this simplifies tough tasks by breaking them into bite-size pieces.
So, how should you spend your break? The best things to do are walk, read, or chat. Definitely try to get some fresh air outside by taking a walk along the block. If you can’t manage to get outside each hour, do a lap around the office – refill your water bottle, use the restroom, and ask your coworker how her weekend was.
What you shouldn’t do during these breaks is check your email, scroll through Instagram, or come up with a clever tweet. Your mind needs some time to stop processing, and reading tons of status updates on Facebook isn’t going to allow that.
If you can’t get away from a desk each hour, use this work-pause to check in with yourself. Are you hungry? Maybe it is time for a snack. Stressed? Use your 15 for some deep breaths and goal setting. Antsy? Stretch your neck, use your desk for an inclined push-up, or run in place depending on the privacy of your desk (or your tolerance for embarrassment).
And if you can’t manage 15, take 5. The point is to allow yourself some time to decompress. So please remember, breaks are productive.
How do you like to spend your breaks? Let us know below.