October 25, 2014

Why You Should do Nothing for 10 Minutes a Day

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Personal Branding Blog

do nothing for 10 minutes

Most people start the day running in high gear and they never let up until the end of the day. Sometimes not even then. Their brains are still going 100 miles an hour as they try and get some sleep just so they can do it all over again the next day.

That’s not a good way to start or end your days. If this is how your days are going, here’s a suggestion for you.

Take 10 minutes to do nothing. Not one thing!

But, wait… you might be thinking, “How can I get away with doing nothing?”

Smart people and the companies they work for are realizing that encouraging breaks can improve productivity. Studies have shown that taking breaks is smart and effective.

How to Get Started?

Just try this. Take a 10 minute break at some time during your day. Do this just one time a day for a week. Then expand it to two times a day. As you start to utilize these 10 minute breaks to increase your focus and effectiveness, you may decide to add even more 10 minute breaks.

Remember — just take 10.

My suggestion is to start first thing in the morning. If that feels too unnatural, try to do sometime before lunch. The reason is that once you’ve gone through most of your day, it might be too hard to slow down and just take 10.

Why Take Breaks?

To avoid burnout, to recharge, to seek a new perspective on something. There are a lot of reasons why you should take a break.

I’m sure you can come up with 5 good reasons to take breaks right now. The main thing is just take 10… at least once a day.

You’ll find that your thinking becomes more relaxed and you’ll look forward to your next break. Which will reinforce the need and desire to work hard in the interim until you can do it again.

Take More Effective Breaks

Doing nothing is okay. Doing nothing while walking around and getting your heart rate up is even just a little is better. Studies have shown that increasing your heart rate and getting your blood flowing increases the effectiveness of your breaks.

Whether you decide to walk, read or otherwise relax – or to literally do nothing – you will likely find your productivity increases and that you actually get more done than before. When you do this you will stand out in your career and people will seek you out because you’ll be able to help them too.

Remember… to get started… just take 10.

Relaxing Photo via Shutterstock

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Personal Branding Blog The Personal Branding Blog is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, offering branding and career advice from Dan Schawbel and his team of experts. The blog helps professionals build a powerful brand to remain competitive in the job market.

8 Reactions

  1. I’m a strong believer in the power nap as well. Don’t want to burn out.

  2. I actually don’t need a reason not to do anything for 10 minutes :)

    However, I do hear you.

    Why 10 minutes though, and not 15? Is 15 too long? Is 10 just right?

  3. I think the rule should be work 50 minutes, take a 10 minute break. It’s an idea I stole. I rarely practice it, but would like to.

    • That sounds like a good idea, Neil! Except that I have squirrel in my DNA, so my concentration span is, well, special.

      Maybe I could try a 5-minute break per 30 minutes’ work. Hmm.

  4. I am actually mastering this art. This is one of the best things you can do when you’re stressed. You can simply sit back and relax and breathe for 10 minutes. It works by clearing up your mind and gets you ready for the next task.

  5. I love this idea as I usually get distracted (sadly) a few times before lunch. I think if I knew a break was coming up sooner, than I could focus on my task at hand and push through. 10 minutes is enough time to feel refreshed and refocus. Great read!

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