Productivity and Breaks


You've heard it before - you can't just study all day, you need to take breaks. While it is very good advice, most people don't know how long to study or how long to break.

If I think back to my high school days it was probably study for half an hour and break for 2 hours ;-)

Apart from that, many people stop taking regular breaks when they start working. You might get up for a short coffee/tea break and lunch, but other than that people generally stick to working, probably because they think their boss or co-workers will think they are slacking when they get up too often.

The truth is that we all need breaks, even adults. Children go to school and have short breaks between classes and longer breaks during recess and are reminded at home to break when they are studying. Tertiary students overall do take breaks, but they are prone to studying for hours on end or late into the night which isn't very productive at all.

Generally we have recommended primary school children work or study for around 20 minutes and break for 5-10 minutes before resuming homework while high school students should be able to push this up to 30 minutes and by Grade 12 they should be able to concentrate for 45 minutes before taking a break. Adults should also take a break every 45 minutes.