The Science Of Taking Breaks While Studying

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Written by Kimberly Linhares

From reading cheesy young adult novels to writing reviews about them. Books, have been an escape from reality. Writing, to capture a little bit of everything about my versatile lifestyle. Let’s talk but first grab some coffee!

August 31, 2021

Not all breaks at work are created equal. And if you’re not taking breaks during your remote workday, you’re probably also terrible at your job. When, how, and how often to take breaks? Or do you think breaks are only for lazy remote employees who work in their pyjamas on the couch? Unfortunately, toiling all day from sunrise to sunset will not make you a productive work machine. And this old school mindset may be costing you more than productivity. Taking breaks while studying tips isn’t a waste of time, it’s a necessity for your career and well-being.

Easy Ways To Relax In Your Student Room

The Science Of Taking A Break 

You Lose Focus and Concentration

Work is challenging. And you have to avoid a lot of temptations to get your to-do list done. You may think working through your effective breaks will keep your productivity train rolling, but studies show your performance gets worse the longer you have to focus on one specific task for an extended period. Humans just can’t concentrate for eight hours in a row, most employees only get two hours and 53 minutes of productive time in an eight-hour day, after all. And on top of not accomplishing as much as you should, you also might have to deal with stress.

Lack of Psychological Detachment from Work

Psychological detachment, a phrase devised by Sabine Sonnentag, is the process of “switching off” from work mode to let your brain and body relax and recover from your job’s stressful demands. This detachment only comes from physically separating yourself from work thoughts and tasks. If you don’t take these breaks during the day, you’ll carry your work stress home with you and never find rest. So when you get to mentally disengage from your work thoughts with a productive study break, you give your brain breathing room to think and process those thoughts. This moment of recovery will help your brain rebound from the mounting fatigue and open up to creative solutions. Skip these breaks and your brain will eventually want to shut off and stop making decisions.

Decision Fatigue Mounts

Making hundreds of decisions every day, from what to write in an email to when to schedule your social media launches, eventually leads to decision fatigue.

Reach this point and your brain will get so tired of making decisions, you’ll start to make the wrong ones out of sheer exhaustion. As one study showed, judges who skipped breaks during their shifts were less likely to grant parole to prisoners later in the day. They were so tired and wiped out from making weighty decisions, they simply went with the easiest choices. Decision fatigue is bad enough, but it’s also just one step away from experiencing real fatigue.

Real Fatigue Kicks In

Signs of fatigue include:

  • Chronic tiredness or sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sore or aching muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Slowed reflexes and responses, impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • Poor decision-making and judgement
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Appetite loss
  • Weak immune system
  • Tired eyes and blurry vision
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Low attention span, concentration, and motivation

Fatigue can even cause you to ignore rules and better judgements you would normally heed. Researchers saw firsthand that doctors who didn’t take enough breaks during the day stopped washing their hands as the day went on. Their fatigue overruled safety rules they would have followed had they taken more time to mentally recuperate with breaks during the day. You can’t wait until you get to this point of physical exhaustion to take a break; the damage is already done. But you can create a plan to avoid reaching this point of burnout and stay productive. Here are some breaks while studying tips on how to take breaks the right way

How to Take Breaks the Right Way

Taking breaks during your workday can help you:

  • Prevent decision fatigue
  • Boost energy levels
  • Increase attention and focus
  • Become more creative
  • Strengthen your memory
  • Renew your motivation after stress
  • Help you accomplish more during the day
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Step out and see the bigger picture

A break will always be a good decision, as long as you’re not taking breaks the wrong way.

Stop Taking Unproductive Breaks Like These

Not all breaks provide the same psychological benefits. Research shows certain types of breaks increase fatigue, such as drinking caffeine, mindless snacking, online shopping, and venting to your coworkers. Even the instant gratification of using social media during your breaks lowers your ability to focus back at work. If these are the only breaks you know how to take, keep reading.

Learn What a Productive Break Looks Like

The right kind of break will allow you to detach from work and fight off the negative effects of stress.

Here are some breaks while studying tips

Energizing Study Break Ideas 

Completely Different From Your Work

Sitting at a computer all day? Get up, walk around, and tear yourself away from the screen. Is coworking somewhere noisy? Find solo time to regroup somewhere quiet.

Enjoy Breaks

This should bring pure happiness and positive vibes. These counteract the negative emotions like stress and anxiety and increase blood flow to parts of the brain used to focus.

Using these guidelines as inspiration, breaks while studying tips:

  • Meditate to help your body relax and clear your brain in silence.
  • Stretch or walk in nature. Moderate cardio has been shown to boost creativity and productivity for up to two hours. Plus, being out in nature improves your mood and lowers stress while increasing your energy levels and concentration.
  • Be social. Chat with a friend, visit the coffee shop, take your dog on a walk, or have playtime with the kids if you’re a parent working from home.
  • Daydream and give your brain a free roam to stretch.
  • Laugh. Scientists in a study learned taking a break to watch a funny video improved performance afterwards.
  • Update your resume, especially if you intend to snag a better remote position.

If you don’t know when to stop working, start scheduling intentional breaks instead of hoping they come up spontaneously.

PS: If there’s anything more you’d like us to know about. Add it to the comments section!

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘The Science Of Taking Breaks While Studying’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that might be of interest to you:

  1. Ways To Make Friends When Studying Abroad
  2. 6 Mandatory Things To Do With Your Roommates
  3. 5 Easy Ways On How To Fill Your Room With Plants

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