The best way to take regular breaks to increase productivity

The best way to take regular breaks to increase productivity

We hear it all the time – take breaks to increase your productivity, and it often seems like it would be counterproductive. But there is so much scientific evidence that backs up the theory, there really is no reason to ignore it. However, there are widely varying amounts of suggested work-rest ratios which doesn’t help. Here are some of the popular recommendations:

Work 2 hours, break for 15 minutes
Work 90 minutes, break for 15 minutes
Work 80 minutes, break for 6 minutes
Work 52 minutes, break for 17 minutes
Work 40 minutes, break for 10 minutes
Work 25 minutes, break for 5 minutes
Work 20 minutes, break for 30 seconds

What’s important is that you find whatever suits you best. Your work period should be intense, purposeful and focused. Breaks can consist of anything, as long as you completely remove your mind from your work. There are varying recommendations, some which say no screens at all, and others that suggest a few minutes break checking social networks is good for you. Breaks can be anywhere from 15 seconds (enough to stretch, or play some air guitar) to 20 minutes (perfect for a short walk in the fresh air, or to watch a few funny cat videos). You decide what’s best for you!

Here is a great infographic to demonstrate some of the benefits of frequent breaks:

Take a Break!

Infographic from

The important thing is to work purposefully and take regular breaks, to improve your focus and productivity. Play around with different work-rest ratios and see what works best for you.

I would love to hear if you already do any of these, or if you try it please let us know how you get on. Just remember, don’t take the mick – too many breaks is just procrastination and you don’t want to go there!


Ruth Lowe
Based in Southam, Warwickshire

Contact me:
Twitter: @UKTimeFairy