I’m about to tell you something that is gonna make you happy today.
The secret to getting a lot of work done every day, the secret to being productive at work, at school or at literally anything is…
Seriously. Not kidding. And no, I’m not just telling this to please you – even if I really care for you guys!
Actually, I’m writing after taking a long break of 4 days from blogging – which isn’t usually beneficial for me. But this time, it was worth it.
I myself didn’t use to believe this much in “the dark power of breaks” (dramatic voice).
I mean, I guess we all have that deep feeling inside that whenever we are taking a break, or some “me time” makes us feel like we are wasting time. You know, that inner deep guilty feeling of not doing enough, or just playing around.
But believe me and give me some lines to prove you breaks are a crucial part of being productive. Luckily!
I discovered the power of breaks a few weeks ago when I was forced to shut my work done entirely – or almost entirely – because of some technical problems.
Literally, in the same week, both my computer and my wifi connection broke down. If this is not a divine sign I don’t know what is. And even if in that moment I was really really pissed off, I got some time to understand why it was all happening.
So during that break, I could do nothing but reading, or watch TV, or take some walks, or anything wifi and computer unrelated.
Long story short, I was forced to take a break from my work. As days went on and I felt more and more bored by watching tv and just doing basically nothing – yes, I’m like one of those hyperactive kids! all of a sudden I came up with one great idea about my work. So I wrote it down.
Then I got another one the following day, and another one, and I ended up basically re-designing my working system during that week.
And when I finally got to work again, I was not the same. I had somehow built an entire more productive system of working. And it worked!
Then the revelation:
I couldn’t see what was wrong until I stopped and take a break. I was just so busy working that I couldn’t even think of what I was doing.
If you still don’t get the moral in this story, here it is:
You need to give your brain time to think of better ways of doing what you’re doing.
Because there’s always a better way. You can’t just expect to work 3 hours straight and completely forget about your brain.
Your focus lasts a maximum of 30 to 50 minutes. So stop pushing yourself and take that damn break! Relax, take a walk, drink some water! 5 minutes are enough! 5 minutes can make all of the difference in the world!
Something I highly suggest you do – and it’s something I’m currently doing every day – is using the Pomodoro technique (You can read more about it here. It’s number #5) to balance your work life. Basically, you just work for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minutes-break and so on until you complete 4 Pomodoro sessions and take a longer break of 20 minutes. And all over again!
THE APPS I USE :
I can’t really tell you how much this made me productive.
First of all, because I know I have only 25 minutes to work on a specific task, so I make every one of them count.
And I don’t waste time procrastinating because it’s just 25 minutes, right? Everybody can focus for 25 minutes.
The truth is that you can’t really see any result or believe what I’m telling you until you try it yourself, on your own skin.
So just try doing this for a week (or a week and a half), and most importantly keep track of how it’s going. Write down how many Pomodoro sessions you can do and how much you accomplish in that amount of time. Then compare those results to what you used to do before.
See how many more ideas you have. Seriously. Write them down and count them at the end of the week.
I’m a huge believer in doing less and achieving more. And when you rest, when your brain rests, that’s when the most brilliant ideas come out. And one of those ideas could actually turn upside-down your business!!
So let your brain prove you the amazing power of breaks!
Let me know how this experiment goes (you can also contact me via email). And feel free to start an open-minded discussion in the comments below!