As college students, we only want to succeed in everything we do. However, sometimes success comes with a toll — that toll being our mental or physical health. It’s easy to think of hard work correlating with late, restless nights studying or slaving over a computer for hours on end, but what does that result in? Tiredness, burnout and more stress are some of the outcomes of overworking. This only leads to a decreased desire to get work done because you will instead spend your time figuring out ways to boost your mentality and morale. If you feel like you’re working too hard and are deserving of a break, that is okay.
Why You Should Take a Break
It has been proven that people who take breaks from doing work tend to excel because they give their mind time to rest. Overworking only leads to more stress and putting pressure on yourself to get all tasks done in a timely manner, but if you prioritize, everything will be efficiently completed. Taking a break also helps maintain a stable mindset and mentality. Giving your mind to rest and relax for periods of time during the day allows it to recharge and work even harder once you get back into it.
How Often Should You Take a Break?
The recommended amount of breaks that everyone should take per day is two. However, it would not be a bad idea to take a break every hour or so to give your mind an ample amount of rest. The scientific reasoning behind this comes from the fact that the average American’s attention span is incredibly short, lasting for only about eight seconds. Therefore, we often find ourselves spending an unnecessary long amount of time on a single task because we aren’t letting ourselves focus. It’s best to get into a rhythm and routine of taking breaks regularly to produce good work and study habits for the long run.
How Long Should Your Break Last?
Breaks should range from 15 to 20 minutes each time you take one. If you feel like that’s too much time, try taking a five minute break every 20 or 25 minutes. The length of your break can depend on what you want to do in your down time, so the time in which you’re not doing work can vary. Similar to getting into a routine of regularly taking breaks, it’s best to also get into a routine of taking the same amount of time for a break so that you’re not spending an excess amount of time doing nothing. Too much time away from working may lead to extended distractions and less of a desire to get back to your work.
What Should You Do During Your Break?
While giving yourself a break from doing work, you should think about anything other than that work. Breaks are meant to rejuvenate your mind to let you think about things that are less stressful. Some of the best ways to spend a break include self-care activities, such as watching TV, going for a run or a walk, listening to music or anything that makes you feel relaxed. In general, what you do during your break shouldn’t require much mental effort, per se, because you want to give your brain a rest from working so hard.
Don’t think that taking a break will take away from your time spent doing work. Staying on task and prioritizing will help you get your work done efficiently.