Ah, the mid-afternoon slump – we’ve all been there. That moment when, though you try to focus, your mind starts wandering, your eyes begin to glaze over and you start seriously considering whether you could get away with just curling up under your desk for a quick nap.
But while it’s perfectly natural to have a few less-than-productive moments once in a while, how we deal with them is important. Think that improving your productivity means ploughing on through? Think again. Your presence at your desk doesn’t necessarily mean productivity. Instead, it turns out that the best way to focus your mind is actually to give it a break.
It’s important to make those much-needed breaks count. The main concern? Giving your eyes a break from the screen, preferably by putting the kettle on and choosing a healthy snack.
As for the snack, it’s easier to choose something healthy when you know what you’re looking for. “I always tell my patients to look at the ingredients list and try and pick whole foods like fruits, nuts and oats – the fewer ingredients the better,” says Specialist Registered Dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine.
“Nākd bars are ideal – they are made from just dried fruit and nuts, so they provide protein as well as healthy fats and a slow release of energy to keep blood glucose levels (and hunger) stable,” continues Ludlam-Raine. “They are also a good source of fibre, which is key for your digestive health, and are free from gluten, wheat and dairy, so great for people with these intolerances.”
So instead of reaching for the box of chocolates doing the office rounds, get your snack game sorted and have some healthy choices prepped in your desk drawer for when hunger strikes. Luckily, Nākd are on hand to help. From Lemon Drizzle to Bakewell Tart, Peanut Delight to Cocoa Orange – there’s a delicious flavour to suit whatever you’re in the mood for - and you can now win one of 10 bundles of Nākd bars to take your snack time to the next level.
THE BENEFITS OF BREAK TIME
According to a recent study from the Columbia University, scheduling breaks can actually make you more creative when it comes to problem-solving because you come back with a fresh mind full of fresh ideas. So, while you might think you’re working harder if you’re welded to your desk, that 15-minute break more than pays for itself in terms of boosting productivity.
But more importantly, taking breaks is also good for your health. “When someone has been dealing with work demands, they do need a period of recovery and respite from work at some point every day,” explains Dr. Emma Russell, Occupational Psychologist and head of the Wellbeing At Work research group at Kingston Business School. “Studies have shown that a period of rest and recovery from work can decrease chances of exhaustion in the long term, for example.” Well, if science says so…
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
While the amount of time you can take for a break is probably work-dependent, science says ideally it would be 15 minutes every hour and a half.
As for frequency, it’s commonly acknowledged amongst biologists that your brain can only concentrate for between 90 and 120 minutes before it needs a break, after which it reverts to a lower level of alertness. By following this pattern – known as your ultradian rhythm – you’re more likely to optimize your performance at work. The perfect excuse for a tea break every couple of hours? We think so…
Discover Nākd’s delicious new Blueberry Muffin flavour on Instagram @NakdWholefoods or at EatNakd.com