One thing that I regularly hear from Health Sciences students is that they often struggle to get away from their studies. This can lead to “marathon studying” where students will spend long hours in their books with little time away. However, research shows that taking deliberate time away from studying can help improve your focus and productivity when you return to your studies. Even as little as 30 seconds away can help, and here are a few options to help you take that break.
- Engage in a breathing exercise
- Get up and take a brief walk
- Go chat with a roommate, friend, or significant other for a bit
- Listen to a few songs
- Clean your workspace, room, or apartment
- Draw, doodle, or do something else creative
- Do a brief meditation
- Grab a snack if you’re hungry
How long and how often you break for will depend on what you end up doing, and on how much work you need to do. Most folks need some time away at least once per hour, and I’d recommend at least five minutes for your break. Be careful not to make the break too long though, it can be hard to get back into your work if you’re away too long. Ideally breaks should be no longer than 15 or 20 minutes. Try to avoid engaging in social media during your break as this often doesn’t get you out of your seat, and it can be easy to end up scrolling for an hour without realizing it.
Also, no Try This Tuesday from me would be complete without a Hamilton reference, so here is Eliza Hamilton to help remind you all to Take A Break: