The Lawyer Coach Blog
What kind of break best recharges energy levels?
July 13, 2012
One big challenge we all face during the workday is maximizing our energy so that we can work productively for an extended period of time. One of the tips I have written about is to take short breaks throughout the day to refresh your mind and recharge. I have quoted Tony Schwartz and his book Be Excellent at Anything that recommends taking a few minutes away from the computer to stretch your legs, get a glass of water or some other activity that provides a break from work-related stimuli.
Now a research finding has emerged out of Charlotte Fritz’s work at Portland State University that tells a different story. Harvard Business Review Magazine in the May 2012 article “Coffee Breaks Don’t Boost Productivity After All” interviewed Fritz about her findings. In essence what Fritz discovered through a series of studies she conducted is that “breaks that involved work-related tasks appeared to boost energy.”
Fritz states in the interview: “The only time people showed an increase in vitality was after they took short breaks to do work-related things, such as praise a colleague or write-a-to-do-list.”
She also found that microbreaks that were true breaks from work didn’t appear to provide any positive impact on a person’s mental clarity or energy levels.
If Fritz has it right then this provides yet another great reason for mentoring. Taking a scheduled microbreak to help someone with a question or a problem might provide also provide a helpful energy boost.
The question is who has it right? I suggest this is best answered by what works for you in your own practice. Over a few days try out taking short breaks in which you discuss work with a colleague, or write your to do list, or engage in some other work-related activity. Note after each break what kind of impact you experience on your energy levels. Later, try out short breaks in which you take a brief time out from all things work related. What impact do these breaks have on your energy levels?
If you have a moment please email me to let me know what you discover.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 9:46 am and is filed under Balance, Strategy, Thought provoking ideas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.