brainMaybe there is a breed of superhuman out there who doesn’t encounter this problem, but when I’m working on a project at work, even an exciting one I like, somewhere around the hour-and-a-half mark, I start finding myself staring off into space, unable to concentrate anymore.  Jeff Stibel explains why in his article “5 Ways to Give Your Brain a Break Right Now.”

Basically, the brain, just like any other muscle or organ in our bodies, gets tired after lots of rigorous activity.  Because the brain is so much more complex than any other organ, it requires frequent breaks.  Jeff says the 9-5 work-hour day isn’t particularly well-suited to creative, mental work, and gives some advice on how to de-stress in the middle of the day.  Among his suggestions are: switching it up every 90 minutes, doing physical activity away from your desk, or just taking 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing.

Although some of these suggestions can go against traditional ideas of productivity in the work environment, more and more big companies like Google and Twitter are providing ways for employees to take fun breaks throughout the day and finding that their employees are all the more productive for it.  I love working for a company that understands people are human and need breaks–so with that in mind, I think I’ll go take a little break by the snack pantry.

Photo credit: Hey Paul Studios, Flickr