Many studies have discovered that taking a few moments to relax and refresh is critical to our productivity, achievement, and a good attitude while studying. This is especially true for kids or students who are stuck in front of a computer for a long time.
While many students believe that late-night study and cramming sessions will help them earn their college diploma, the truth is that not taking regular breaks can lead to a significant drop in academic performance and, in some cases, serious health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
Take some breaks while studying
After sitting and studying for a while we realize we start losing concentration and getting distracted from everything around us. Contrary to what some say, taking a break from studying can actually increase productivity rather than decrease it. Let’s how and when to take breaks. Taking pauses from studying depends mainly on what you are doing and how much time you want to spend on it, so then you can decide how many breaks you are going to take and how often to do it.
Usually, we tend to leave studying until the last moment before the exam, and we find ourselves having to learn a lot in a very short time, so we concentrate for a few hours and try to do everything as fast as possible. We think that breaks are a waste of time, and we tend to do hours of continuous studying without realizing that as we go along we lose our focus more and more.
How to take breaks while studying
Every student, of course, chooses their own methods on how and when to take some breaks, but there are a few tips that might be useful for everybody! Some students can work for hours without taking a break, while others have a shorter attention span. But you should remember, that breaks allow your brain to relax and recharge in preparation for the next task. However, there is no definitive answer to the question of how long you should study before taking a break.
There are many different tactics. You just have to find the one that suits you the most. For example, if someone plans an hour-study session and divides it into 50 minutes of focus on studying and ten minutes for a break, of course, the break will be more effective in the middle of a session, to divide the studying time.
If you have to study for a longer time your breaks can be even longer. For example, 15 to 20 minutes pause to try to relax, so that after you can be focused and sharp again.
Some studies have shown that we can pay attention without being distracted for a maximum of about 50 minutes. After this period we start to lose concentration and memorize less, that’s why it is useful to take breaks from studying. If the study period is long, it is recommended to take several breaks during it.
The benefits of taking study breaks
It’s easy to burn out while studying if you focus on an assignment or project for long periods of time without taking a break. Taking regular breaks can help you stay focused and avoid study tiredness.
These pauses allow you to clear your mind and increase your creativity while also assisting you in maintaining your focus and regaining motivation. Let’s see what you can do while taking breaks:
Taking a small nap
Power naps, which are taken in short spurts, are an excellent (and enjoyable) approach to boost your productivity. Aim for a 15–20 minutes power sleep to help you become more awake, relieve stress, and boost cognitive performance. However, if you nap for too long, you risk developing sleep inertia, which will leave you feeling disoriented and sluggish, so remember to set your alarm.
Meditation is a good way to relax because it gives your mind a chance to rest and recharge. There are many various forms of mediation to choose from, so do some research to see which one is best for you. Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and improve your mental health.
Move a bit
Sitting at your desk for long periods of time may hurt your body, causing stiffness and exhaustion. Exercising during your study breaks is an excellent method to avoid being sore and tired.
Stretching or going for a short walk might help you get your blood circulating and re-energize you. Getting some fresh air might also let you clear your mind and boost your mental health. Getting out in the fresh air also helps you rest your eyes from reading or computer screens, which can cause tired, burning eyes in the long run.
During your break, you could prepare a snack. Hunger doesn’t help you focus, and some sugar can help you to stay active. You could make lunch or dinner, so that if you’re tired once you finish studying it’s ready.
Do something different
Changing the subject of your study or doing something different can feel like a break since you may be using various sections of your brain depending on the task. Taking a pause and cleaning the environment where you’ve been studying, or doing some house duties can be a good idea, but if you are short on time, tackling a different study job might have the same impact while still allowing you to work toward completing the bigger goal.
There are a lot of other things you could do:
- Call a friend
- Exercise or go to the gym
- Listen to music
- Drink coffee or tea
- Reach out to your family
- Speak with your roommate
What not to do during the break
Sometimes breaks can have the opposite effect, and instead of recharging our batteries, they can tire us out or make us lose concentration even more.
Scrolling on your phone or navigating on the internet, for instance, can cause your prefrontal cortex to become overburdened with decision-making. (Which link should I click on? Which image am I going to pause over?) It also has the potential to become addictive. As a result, you may feel less in control and experience negative feelings as a result of these gaps.
Many people are obsessed with social media and spend a lot of time on it, if you work on your computer it is recommended to rest your eyes. That’s why it is not recommended to use electronic devices during your break, and it is better to just disconnect from them.
Study breaks: the summary
Several studies have proven that taking breaks while studying helps you stay focused longer and memorize topics better. In Students.Guide we have researched and compared different studies and we wanted to write this article to give you a general overview of the topic of taking breaks during your studies.