Draugiem, a social networking company, used the time-tracking productivity app DeskTime to see how the most productive employees spent their time. The results were surprising — the 10 percent of employees with the highest productivity spent LESS time working than the average employee, taking a 17-minute break for every 52 minutes they spent working.
Fast Company wrote: "Employees with the highest levels of productivity worked for 52 minutes with intense purpose, then rested up, allowing their brains time to rejuvenate and prepare for the next work period."
When Julia Gifford of The Muse posted the study's results, she said those 17 minutes were generally spent completely away from the computer, whether the employees were taking a walk, chatting with coworkers or reading a book. She said the study shows the importance of reassuring employees that it's okay to step away from the desk without worrying about appearing lazy or unproductive.
Fast Company offered the following tips to ensure you're getting the breaks you need:
- Schedule breaks into your daily calendar
- Set a timer to remind you when to take your break and when to return to work
- Make realistic to-do lists
- Prioritize tasks, setting three major tasks to focus on for the day and adding others as they pop up