We live in a fast-paced world where it's expected that we always be toiling away at something, whether it's work or personal projects. But as a new video from The Science of Us points out, it's also important to take breaks. Working nonstop isn't healthy for anyone.
Of course, just because it isn't healthy, that doesn't mean we don't do it anyway. In fact, the average work week in the United States is 47 hours, which is a lot and suggests Americans could all use a vacation. Especially since there are all sorts of ways in which long working hours will kill your health. Really, Sweden had the right idea when they started transitioning to a six-hour work day; that idea for permanent three-day weekends sounds pretty good, too. And really, now that we're living in an age when computers and machines can do so much of what were once human jobs, you'd think there would have been a society-wide shift towards people not needing to work as much.
But as long as there is still no state in the United States in which you can afford a one-bedroom apartment working 40 hours a week at minimum wage, it's unlikely that people are going to start working less any time soon.
It's doubly ridiculous when you consider that overworking people and expecting everyone to power through everything on their plate is actually counterproductive. People are not computers. We need breaks. Breaks actually make us function better, as is laid out in a Science of Us video on the subject.
Here are a few tips from the busy beavers in the video to make you better rested and more productive:
1. Don't Feel Bad About Breaks
You need to break up your work day with breaks in order to be truly productive.
2. Look At Pictures Of Puppies
Studies show people are more focused on tasks after looking at cute pictures, so don't feel bad about browsing through some puppy photos at your desk.
3. Take Naps
Afternoon naps have all kinds of benefits, including to your productivity.
4. Don't Work Too Long
Like we said, you need to break up your workday, and you want to avoid going more than about 90 minutes without taking a short break.
And as the video itself points out, watching this video as a way to take a few minutes away from your task is a great way to achieve some of this.
Images: New York Magazine/YouTube (4)