In the previous lesson, we learned the importance of taking a break while working. In this last part of the lesson, we shall talk about how to use the break that you take.
Take this lesson to learn more and don’t forget to take the accompanying quiz at the end of the lesson.
It’s worth talking about your break time for a minute because as it turns out not all break activities are created equal either!
Some of the most popular break activities—like drinking caffeine, phone activity – especially looking at screens, or venting about a problem—are actually associated with more fatigue. Employees choose these activities as a means of coping with fatigue, but these types of break activities don’t address or renew mental energy. To make a break effective, you need to mentally disengage from work thoughts. Morning breaks can include meditation, talking to a friend, helping a coworker, or even engaging in goal setting, but afternoon breaks are more important and need certain activities, like a quick power walk.
While breaks feel indulgent and a waste of time, they’re an important part of your productivity plan. It’s not the amount of time you spend working, it’s what you get accomplished, especially when you’re dealing with MITs.
So, make sure you schedule and plan your break activities at regular intervals.
Now, only one more element needs to be factored into your day’s schedule. Routine work.
Let’s bring it all together for you. Scheduling your day effectively involves the following steps.
1) Identify and craft your MIT’s – critical tasks requiring cognitive focus that are aligned with your goals
2) Plot no more than 2 or 3 MIT’s in a day, in your period of maximum productivity as per your chronotype
3) Plan 15-minute breaks every 75 or 90 minutes – disengage from work during a break. Stay away from caffeine or phone surfing if possible; take a power walk instead.
4) Schedule routine work around your MIT scheduled time. Don’t dodge routine work on the pretext of doing only MITs.
And finally, if you have the diligence to schedule your day thus, it’s important that you follow through on your schedules, something that we will cover in a subsequent lesson. Good luck with it.