How much rest do you needRoger Quinn ▼ | August 15, 2008
Every day is filled with stress and tasks that must be done if want healthy and prosperous company. The times were hectic once, are hectic now and will be hectic. The competition is strong and while we may be hoping that we'll prevail that requires long and hard work. Every one of us that belongs to Homo sapiens family needs rest, for the rest makes us ready for the new day and new challenges.
So how much rest do you need on an ordinary working day? How much rest do you need while you are at work? We bet that your first answer will be wrong. Depending on culture you are coming from, you may answer "30 minutes a day", "one hour a day", or something similar. Those answers are based on what other thought you, and they depend on usual habits in your organization.
But, let us examine that closely. Daily pause usually breaks the day in two. That means that you are working at least four hours before the pause and four hours after it. That in turn means that you must stay focused on your job for four hours.
That is - mission impossible. Recall the school days - there was no lecture longer than one hour. Between lectures there was a short break. If you are a regular gym visitor then you know that an hour and a half is the longest recommendable duration for exercise. After that, your body and mind need rest to regain strength and concentration.
Those systems are not here by chance. They were devised very carefully, paying great attention to human capabilities. It is impossible to be focused for hours and it is impossible to exercise for a few hours. Our body has limitations that we may cross but then it suffers.
OK, again: How much rest do you need? Let's remember one simple but very effective advice from women that typing on typewriting machines. The recipe is very simple: Work 45 minutes, rest 10 minutes. Everybody can be maximally focused for 45 minutes, maybe one hours, but not longer than that.
That principle should be applied in everyday's work. Having a short break will prepare you for the next working period. It is virtually impossible to find a job that, by its nature, requires hours of working without a single break.
Add all the break time during an eight hour working day, that's seven times ten minutes which is 70 minutes. At first, it seems that that's much time spent on non-working activities. But, that conclusion is wrong. The quantity of work is not important, the quality is. Since you can't be focused for seven hours, you can't do your best.
However, with a short breaks you will be in the top form all day. That way it is possible to work even longer with high productivity. It is better for your body and mind, and it is certainly better for your company.
If you start to practice short breaks strategy, at the beginning you will feel that at the start of the day you don't need resting. Mean, who needs resting after first hour? But if you continue to do that you will see that you are more productive, with less stress and tensions, and at the end of the day you won't be so exhausted as usual.
As in any other case, it is important to remember that that no two person are the same. Maybe you will need all seven breaks, maybe you'll need four. After some time you will feel better and you will know how much rest you need. ■