The Importance of Taking Breaks for Productivity
In the time we live in, technology is everywhere. From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, our phones are always close by. Depending on which study we read, many of us check our phones between 150 and 221 times a day. This can make us less productive and even hurt our mental health and well-being. It’s time to disconnect and reclaim your attention!
The Effect of Technology on Our Mental Health:
Recent research at the University of Southern Maine found that having your phone in sight, even if you don’t touch it, makes it harder to do well on tests. On top of that, Harvard Business Review says that multitasking makes people 40% less productive and up to 50% more stressed. When notifications from our phones or other devices pop up all the time, it can be hard to stay focused on one task for a long time. Because of this, taking breaks and turning off technology for short periods of time can be good for your mental health and help you concentrate.
Clearing Your Space:
Clearing your physical space is one way to start taking back control of your attention. Make sure there are no phones, tablets, or laptops around you when trying to focus on something important. Many people find it helpful to make sure places, like their bedrooms or workspace, are “tech-free zones,” so they know they won’t be tempted to use their devices there. If you need help staying off your phone while working or studying, apps like Forest will hold you accountable and give you points every time you resist the urge.
Creating Non-Tech Habits of Productivity:
Another great way to control how much time we spend checking our phones every day is to make habits and routines that don’t involve technology. For instance, if you always look at your phone after dinner, try doing something else instead, like reading a book or going for a walk. This will give you some space from your devices and make sure that technology doesn’t take over your life too much. Setting limits on when people from different parts of your life (like work colleagues or family members) can contact you can also help keep you from getting distracted during the day.
It doesn’t have to be hard to get back in charge of how much time we spend online. We can regain control over how much attention we give our devices each day by making tech-free zones around us (like clearing our desks), setting limits with others about when they can contact us, and replacing lousy tech habits with non-tech ones (like going for a walk instead). So don’t let them have power over you; disconnect today.