Productive Pastimes: Take 10

Break Time - Genova, Italia (via Break Time, a photo from Genoa, Liguria | TrekEarth)(Photo Credit: Tumbr)

By Alina Chase

Do you also experience belated ah-ha’s: witty comebacks ten minutes too late or correct solutions to problems as you’re driving home from an exam or business meeting?

 

This is why taking frequent, short breaks even—or especially—when we’re writing fast and furiously can increase productivity. Our brains keep working even when we’re not actively writing. I’ve taken a walk during what I thought was a brilliant writing session only to realize I was off on a tangent. I’ve taken a break after fussing with a paragraph for thirty minutes and realized within five minutes it didn’t fit at all. Solution: delete! Ten-minute timeouts can save hours of writing and revising time—as long as you don’t get too distracted.

 

What I don’t recommend is doing anything that requires mental energy or might derail your train of thought. Don’t make phone calls or check online bank statements. The objective is to let writing thoughts simmer. Try something mundane like watering plants, loading the dishwasher or simply moving to the recliner for a few minutes to get away from the keyboard.

 

Even better, do something active. Walk, take on spin on the exercise bike, pump a little iron (or do some reps with whatever pantry goods you have that weigh more than a pound).  A bit of exercise, in addition to recharging your brain, will burn latte calories, boost your energy and keep the all-important endorphins flowing.

 

So rethink making the most of every minute of writing time by making hourly breaks part of your routine.

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