Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Take More Breaks in your Selling Day . How to thrive in twenty one five

In a professional tournament game of tennis for each set, players get a 90 second break between every two games. Between sets, players get 120 seconds.

 In a game of professional soccer the half time break after 45 min of play is  between 10-15 mins   

for boxing it is one minute between each  3 minute round

The physical fitness of these elite sportspeople is tip top

- yet they take their breaks.

 I guess they take this time to rest and re focus  for  the mental part of the game. Keeping positive , reassessing tactics , reviewing the game plan and  keeping calm.

Why then do we not value breaks in our work ?

Recent research reveals that the average British worker in 2015 will take less than half an hour for lunch  (26 minutes and 28 seconds of lunch)

No doubt the Gordon Gekko Lunch is for wimps syndrome is ever present for some7%  of the working population do not take lunch at all according to research undertaken by Leerdammer.

 This figure was similarly quoted in research undertaken by the  on line recruiter Monster  five years ago..

Back in 2010

 7% did not eat or break for lunch at all

21%  would always eat at their desk so they could get more work done,

32% said they would take a lunch break if they were not too busy

and 40% said they would always take lunch.
Have a break , Have a Kit Kat  ? ( Hershey)-
wrapper from a trip to Chicago last year.
Looks a bit different to the UK  Nestle version

The 2015 study was conducted by Leerdammer , which questioned 2,000 people about their lunch habits. 

 The main reasons people gave for skipping lunch  in this 2015 survey was

 to impress their boss (11%),

 14 % of people said they felt under pressure because of their workloads.

Overall 22 % of those interviewed said they felt less efficient if they did not take a break.

Aude Romelly from Leerdammer said

“ It is a sad fact that eating our lunches at our desk has become a norm.”

“It’s not about doing ‘nothing’ with your lunch hour, but switching your mind onto something different allows you to refresh your perspective, making you more effective later.”

In the Metro Aidan Radnedge piece on this story include a quote from Behavioural expert Karen Meager “ When sitting at our desks we are actually programming  our mind and body to feel bad. Taking a break from work has many healthy, psychological and emotional benefits”.

Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers findings in 2011?

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

In the this study, Professor Alejandro Lleras and postdoctoral fellow Atsunori Ariga tested participants' ability to focus on a repetitive computerised task for about an hour under various conditions. The 84 study subjects were divided into four groups: 

•The control group performed the 50-minute task without breaks or diversions.

•The "switch" group and the "no-switch" group memorised four digits prior to performing the task, and were told to respond if they saw one of the digits on the screen during the task. Only the switch group was actually presented with the digits (twice) during the 50-minute experiment. Both groups were tested on their memory of the digits at the end of the task.

•The "digit-ignored" group was shown the same digits presented to the switch group during the task, but was told to ignore them.


As expected, most participants' performance declined significantly over the course of the task. But most critically, Lleras said, those in the switch group saw no drop in their performance over time. Simply having them take two brief breaks from their main task (to respond to the digits) allowed them to stay focused during the entire experiment.

"We propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused," he said. "From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!"

Back in the day 2007

Source:   Jakki Stubbington -Benenden Healthcare Society ( reported Metro March 12th 2007)

Sample Size :   1,000 adults

Smokers spent an average of 30 minutes every working day on ‘fag breaks’. The average smoker takes at least three ten minute breaks a day.

This equivalent to 290,000 working days every year.

Hundreds of thousands of workers took cigarette breaks of more than half  an hour a day- often leaving the office seven times in a shift to smoke.

Smokers in the North take the most breaks with only 13% going through the day without sneaking off for a cigarette compared with almost a third in the Midlands.

Related links

Report on study of effectiveness of short breaks

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