Do you ever find yourself so engrossed in your work that you forget to take a break? You're not alone. Many employees believe that taking a break during the workday is unproductive and may even hinder their progress. However, research has shown that taking breaks can actually improve productivity and creativity.

Taking breaks is so important. First and foremost, taking a break can improve productivity by helping to reduce stress and fatigue. Studies have shown that the brain can only focus for a limited amount of time before it becomes fatigued, leading to decreased productivity and poor decision-making. By taking breaks, you can give your brain a chance to recharge, which can improve focus and productivity when you return to work. Studies have found that taking breaks can help to reduce stress and fatigue, leading to improved productivity. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that employees who took short breaks during the day experienced less physical discomfort and were able to maintain higher levels of productivity. Kim, J., & Rhee, Y. (2018).


Let Your Mind Wander!

Taking breaks can improve creativity by allowing your mind to wander and make connections that may not have been apparent before. When we're focused on a task for too long, we can become too entrenched in a particular way of thinking, which can stifle creativity. Taking a break can give us the mental space we need to come up with new ideas and approaches.


In other words, when we're not actively focusing on a task, our subconscious mind can process information in the background and make connections that we may not have made when we were actively working. This is why sometimes our best ideas come to us when we're taking a shower, going for a walk, or doing some other activity that doesn't require our full attention. When we focus for extended periods of time without taking a break, we can become mentally fatigued and find it difficult to generate new ideas or solve problems. Taking a break allows us to recharge our mental batteries and return to our work with renewed focus and energy.

A study published in the journal Cognition found that participants who took a brief break were better able to generate creative solutions to a problem compared to those who worked through without taking a break. Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that people who took a brief break while working on a problem in a natural environment came up with more creative solutions compared to those who took a break in a busy urban environment. Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). 


Not All Breaks are Created Equal

To maximize the benefits of taking a break, it's important to engage in activities that are both enjoyable and restorative. Taking a break from any activity is essential for our overall well-being, as it helps to alleviate stress and prevent burnout. However, to maximize the benefits of taking a break, it's important to engage in activities that not only bring us joy but also help to restore our energy levels. This could include various activities such as going for a walk outside, practicing meditation or yoga, taking a power nap, indulging in a hobby or creative activity, or simply chatting with a colleague or loved one. Engaging in such activities helps to reduce anxiety, boost our mood, and improve our cognitive function, making us better equipped to tackle the tasks ahead with renewed focus and energy. Therefore, taking regular breaks and engaging in restorative activities is crucial for our overall productivity and well-being.


17 Minutes Changes Everything

It's also important to note that taking breaks doesn't have to take up a significant amount of time. Even a short break can be effective in improving productivity and creativity. Research has shown that the optimal break time is around 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. This means that taking a short break every hour can actually help you to be more productive in the long run. Research by DeskTime (2018).


So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a rut, try taking a break. You might be surprised at how much it can improve your productivity and creativity. Remember to engage in activities that help you to relax and recharge, and don't be afraid to take short breaks throughout the day. By allowing our brains to recharge and engaging in restorative activities, we can maximize our potential and accomplish more in less time.

So go ahead, take a break – your brain (and your boss) will thank you for it.




We love to help support and inspire freelancers. Receive free, in-depth training, consulting, mentorship and community! 
Become a Hubmaster with InspireHUB.  Build for Free!

If you're a freelancer or agency owner looking to save more time, make more money and better serve your clients, this is the partnership for you. Our IHUB Ally program pay 20% commission on the life of any license sold.

Build an Automated Newsletter for Free! Newsletters. Only Better.

It's Time for a Disruption to Newsletters: Create a Serious Impact with an App that Automatically Delivers 195% Increased Engagement.


Topics: Freelancers

Subscribe to Our Blog