Boosting performance with Micro-Breaks

If you, or your team are struggling with tough workloads, never-ending to-do lists and the beginning of the dreaded burn out then we might have a (micro) solution for you. Try a Micro-Break.

When you hear about resilience, most content and advice will suggest taking regular breaks, but has anyone clarified how long a break needs to be?

Clearly a fortnight in the Maldives would most likely be the best solution, but being a little more practical we were really interested in some recent research by a University in Romania we came across.

‘Romanian researchers looked at the effect and efficiency of microbreaks on 2,000 people

The study has provoked some interesting discussions, mainly because what they found was that taking short microbreaks, as short as ten minutes, during a working day could boost team wellbeing and prevent burnout.

So, what are microbreaks?

What exactly is a microbreak? We were not sure either but according to this interesting research, it’s some dedicated time away from the task you are working on, that lasts ten minutes (or less). One thing the study did find, was that “the longer the break that was taken, the better the performance of the individual”.

10 Micro minutes, dedicated to time out, can have a BIG impact

While the research points at the importance of taking these micro-breaks throughout the day, separate stats show a worrying trend, that some employees just don’t take any breaks at all in an attempt to power through and just get their work done.

In fact, a study back in 2019 from Quantum Workplace said that 22% of team said they took no breaks at all (you’ll be pleased to know they did at least take lunch and toilet breaks!)

A powerful snippet of data from the study in Romania showed that those microbreaks we talked about are great for a boost to your energy levels and brilliant for batting away tiredness. They even showed that they can boost performance, mainly when the task the person was doing was repetitive, or alternatively, a creative one.

OK, how do we get the best from a Micro Break?

We’ve found that when you need a break, and need re-energise, for a performance boost, there are a few things you can try.

  • Move your body – try a walk round the garden or round the block.
  • Read a chapter of a book to break the focus on your screen
  • Power nap (set an alarm!)
  • Make a drink
  • Eat a snack
  • Meditate
  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet
  • Doodle, draw or sketch
  • Crosswords or puzzles

Which of these do you think you or your team could try today?

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