17 Minute Breaks

Apparently if you work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 you’ll be optimizing for peak performance and productivity:

Recently, theDraugiem Group, a social networking company, added to this growing body of research. Using the time-tracking productivity app DeskTime, they conducted an experiment to see what habits set their most productive employees apart. What they found was that the 10% of employees with the highest productivity surprisingly didn’t put in longer hours than anyone else. In fact, they didn’t even work full eight-hour days. What they did do was take regular breaks.

Specifically, they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work.

A friend of mine shared this with me and had asked if I knew of anyone that does this. My instant reaction was: “Hey… I do this!” In all truth I do often take breaks to walk around, grab some water, hit the bathroom, or just go talk with a coworker or even just walk around the office (or around the building).

I don’t actually have this on an official timer or anything but I do but it is certainly baked into the way that I work. I particularly enjoy a small break after a major part of a project is complete or when I attempt to switch “modes” or types of work.

It would be interesting to see what the actual breakdown is, day-to-day and hour-by-hour but calculating and tracking that seems like such a bore (and a chore). I think the most important thing is that I get up, get the body moving, and consequently the mind as well.