It's been said that our brains are built to do roughly 52 minutes of intensive work at a time. Needless to say, this statistic doesn't exactly fall in line with the 8-hour workday, and the expectations that come along with it. Unsurprisingly, the effects of overwork often culminate on an unassuming Friday afternoon—all of a sudden, your brain completely checks out, and you're left with a mountain of work and zero motivation to finish it. If this sounds familiar, take this advice from the New York Times and take a break.
"Standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs," they write. "Frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before work."
This falls in line with the sage advice offered by the Draugiem Group, a social networking company, who used time-tracking productivity app DeskTime to conduct a productivity experiment. They ultimately discovered that their most productive employees didn't put in more hours (some even worked less than eight hours a day), they simply took regular breaks throughout the day.
More specifically, they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes worked. So the next time you're feeling exhausted and mentally checked out, try taking a walk around the block, grabbing lunch with a friend, or even perusing Instagram for 15 minutes—you'll be more productive in the long run.
How do you stay productive and alert at the end of a long work week? Share your tips below!