Choose Your Intermission Wisely

According to a statistics article in the Harvard Business Review, undergraduate students who took a 10 minute Internet break after a tedious task were 16% more productive after the break than those who did non-web activities like talking on the phone or texting. According to the researchers, "Browsing the web serves an important restorative function."

We could spend lots of time discussing the ages of the undergraduates and how if older people would have been involved in the study, the results would have been different. There is a deeper question about why spending time on the Internet held more value than connecting (or trying to connect) with people via phone call or text, but you can have that discussion in your office.

The big "aha!" for me is simply that each of us have different things that give us the renewal we need to get our most important things done. Too often, we don't take the time to engage in one of these activities (mental or physical) during our brief intermission, and lack the focus for our "next half."

Today, why not make a list of 7-10 activities that help restore your energy and sense of purpose that require 10 minutes or less? Then the next time you are ready for a break-you have a better list of acts to bring into your lineup.