When revising for long periods of time, it is often easy to forget to take a break. I understand that sometimes we feel guilty about taking a break because it seems like a waste of time. However, taking regular breaks in between revision is actually so important as it prevents us from getting worn out. Today I would like to explain the main reasons as to why taking breaks is so beneficial and how we can make the most out of these breaks so that when we get back to work we feel rejuvenated and focused.
It has been proven that working for short, repeated sessions with five to ten minute breaks in between is a lot better than working for a few hours without a break. This is because it helps increase concentration ability, making learning content a lot easier. The Pomodoro Technique is a study technique where you work on a task for twenty five minutes, take a five minute break and then repeat. This means that it is a great way to study because it maximises productivity.
If you ever find yourself stuck or out of ideas when revising or doing a task, try and take a break. This is because doing something different can help you think of solutions to any problems that you are facing. Hopefully, after your break you would have come up with some new ideas and will be ready to tackle your work!
Provides an energy boost
As I mentioned before, revising for long periods of time can cause your body and mind to get worn out. When you focus all of your attention on one task, it is very easy to feel drained of energy, and so taking a break – even just a short one can help your body to recover.
Now, moving onto making the most out of breaks! Here are some useful tips:
1. Be mindful of duration
Often when we allow ourselves to take a break, we end up letting the break run too long. Having a break that lasts between five and twenty minutes is ideal, and is enough for us to benefit from all of the advantages of taking breaks that I mentioned above. However, try to avoid taking breaks longer than that, as you may lose the motivation to return back to revising.
Meditation is an extremely effective way to de-stress, relax and take a breather from work. It allows your mind to rest and recharge so that when you return to studying, you will be focused and ready to learn. Everyone prefers different kinds of meditation, so it is important to do some research and figure out which kind works best for you!
3. Take a short nap
Personally, I’m not much of a napper. However, for those of you that are, this is a great way to improve your productivity and make you feel more energised. A power nap lasting between fifteen and twenty minutes would be ideal and would help make you more alert, reduce stress and improve cognitive function. However, be careful not to nap for too long, otherwise the opposite might happen and you may feel disoriented and drowsy instead. So be sure to set an alarm to prevent this from happening.
4. Do an unrelated task
Doing a different, unrelated task can count as a break because you may be taking your mind off the material that you are trying to revise and using a different part of your brain. Examples of tasks you can do include cleaning your room, colouring/painting, doing a wordsearch, etc.
5. Move around
Sitting on a desk for a long period of time leaves your body stiff and tired. So it is very important to get up and move around for a bit in order to stretch out your muscles and prevent your body from getting sore. Some ideas include taking a short walk, stretching, doing some yoga, and dancing – all of which can help you get some fresh air and get your blood flowing, hence improving your mental health and re-energising you.
I hope I have convinced you to take more breaks when revising, and that you have found the above tips useful!