When’s the last time you looked away from your computer? If you’re anything like me, it’s been a while, which might be slowing both of us down. Taking regular breaks can vastly improve your focus, according to a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign study published in March 2011, and that means you and I should really be stepping away from our screens more than we are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working or in the middle of a gaming session—breaks will help you perform better. The problem: it’s hard to remember to take some time to regroup, so you may have to force the issue.
Schedule your breaks into your day: If you, like me, live by your calendar, this tip is so important. Don’t assume you’ll remember to take breaks throughout the day—schedule those breaks and stick to them. Add the breaks to whatever calendar application you use and, if possible, turn on notifications so you don’t miss any. Treat your breaks the same way you would a meeting or any other appointment you don’t want to forget about. If that doesn’t work, consider setting up recurring alarms on your phone. The key is to plan breaks ahead of time and follow through on those plans.
Excerpted from Popular Science