One of the most time-honored pieces of advice in the electronics industry applies to employee productivity:
"If it's lagging, turn it off for a few minutes and try again."
Productivity vs. burnout
All jokes aside, humans are not made of microchips and wires and shouldn't be compared to IT equipment. However, we have one thing in common: sometimes, a quick break can fix the problem.
Strict corporate procedures, the lack of flexibility in the 9-5 culture, and the rising problem of employee burnout show that modern companies need to redefine their corporate culture, at least regarding employee productivity.
One of the most discussed terms in the past couple of decades in the professional world is productivity. Neverending to-do lists and skipping breaks won't benefit anyone. Productivity and company profits may increase in the short run, but it eventually leads to stressed-out, unhappy, and overworked employees that cease enjoying what they do.
Meeting deadlines doesn't require drowning in to-do lists
Of course, meeting your deadlines and goals is always your primary focus, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a quick break when needed. At Devōt, we want our employees to have a healthy relationship with their work and be happy doing it.
Nowadays, getting drowned in the nightmare of neverending tasks is a topic many can relate to. There is only so much time in our workday, and time management is one of the modern workforce's biggest problems. The constant game of managing tasks and priorities can cause a severe buildup of stress, tension, and even anxiety. To preserve our physical and mental health and achieve the best professional results, we have to respect our limits and give ourselves a needed break.
We encourage our employees to be mindful of their workload and take breaks when needed.
Being good at your job requires a clear mind and focus
Whatever your job may require, it's always a process of fulfilling a series of tasks and duties – and it implies continuous improvement, both on the individual and the company level.
But doing professional work is rarely linear because real-life scenarios create a lot of dynamic and multitasking, which can drain our energy pretty quickly. Being good at your job requires a stable energy level, a clear mind, focus, and motivation. That's why one of the most important things in the professional environment is to learn how and when to take a break because it rests your body and invigorates your mind. A proper break – taken just when you need it – is the ultimate powerhouse of any quality work.
How to stay focused? Let's talk about mindfulness at work
To stay focused and retain a solid energy level during our workday, we encourage the practice of mindfulness. We define mindfulness as the ability to remain calm during an overwhelming environment. Our surroundings can significantly affect us. For example, constant interruptions and endless to-do lists can impair your focus and increase anxiety.
Mindfulness is a practice of achieving more – but not in terms of being drowned with an unreasonable workload, but rather being at peace. That's what will help you do more, be better at your job, and feel great about your work.
What does mindfulness look like in practice?
At Devōt, we prefer to split our day into smaller portions, each dedicated to an individual part of work – rather than taking on a large, complex task all at once. Taking small breaks after solving each piece of the puzzle allows us to deal with stress, retain a healthier mental state and achieve better focus.
In the modern workplace, people avoid taking breaks because they don't want to lose focus on the current tasks and get out of the flow. Although we understand not wanting to lose focus, this habit can lead to more stress buildup and creative blocks – so don't hesitate to take some time off, go on a walk or chat with your colleague.
The ability to take a smart break is a very powerful tool
The IT industry is known for its flexibility regarding breaks from work and free time. However, many people still struggle to fight off stress during their regular workdays. Mastering the ability to take a strategic break at the right time is a very powerful tool for achieving professional results.
According to Charlotte Fritz, breaks can improve our mood, overall well-being and performance capacity – taking a step back from work can help restore energy in the short term and prevent burnout in the long run.
How to construct a proper break?
First of all, it's important to know that taking multiple short breaks is more beneficial, rather than one long one. Also, a break can look different for everyone – sometimes, it's going to be simply getting up from your chair and grabbing a glass of water. Other times, you'll benefit from taking a short walk every hour or two or even doing simple breathing exercises.
Mindfulness – how can it help you in the long run?
When dealing with stress and managing a healthy relationship with work, meditation and mindfulness play a vital role – these tools help you make healthier life choices and become more resilient to stress.
How do we become mindful?
In today's world of information overload, we can quickly become overwhelmed – that's why it's essential to distinguish what is important and what relates to you at any given time — being mindful means honoring your current needs, state of mind, and well-being. It's all about the now - both physically and mentally.
So the next time you start feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, make sure to give yourself a break. You need it!
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