Want to be More Efficient? Take a Break

In a new interview with GQ, Daniel H Pink breaks down breaks and the power of focusing on “when.” His book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing does a deep dive into how and why timing affects us as much as it does, and how to use that to our advantage in work, life and play.

GQ: To that point, if there were one takeaway above all else you wanted someone to take from the book what would it be?
Daniel H. Pink: To take more and better breaks.

Pink makes sure to drive home the point that a break doesn’t have to be a long luxurious affair in order to have an impact; even a quick one to two minute break to stand up and stretch your legs can be beneficial.

Here’s how to have a better break:

  • Get moving, you’ll get more out of a break if you get your blood pumping.
  • If you can, get out into nature.
  • Make sure your break is “fully detached.” Be present in what you’re doing, so don’t go for a walk and then scroll through your emails.

Pink is also a major proponent of taking a nap. In fact, the best nap involved drinking a cup of coffee, napping for 15-20 minutes so that you’re waking up right as the caffeine hits your system.

I’d bet that some of us think about the “when” in our daily lives already. You probably know if you’re better at working out in the morning or evening, when your workday slump hits, things of that nature. Pink lays out situations where it is beneficial to be more mindful of timing and how to figure out what works for you.

You can read more over at GQ.

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