Now that turkey day is over and we all feel a little bit slower than usual, it’s time to kick things into high-gear and drag our stuffing-stuffed selves to the finish line.
In my four and a half years at Ferris, this is about the time I start to notice an unfortunate pattern. Professors assign their final projects, you pick up some extra shifts before winter break, you make promises to friends you “just can’t break” and voila — you’re over-extended and stressed.
Now your free time seems limited and, of course, you’ve managed to have every sort of writer’s, homework and brain block that’s imaginable and it’s crunch time. Sound like you? Well, I have a solution for you: take a break.
No, seriously. Take a break.
According to Psychoogy Today, “Breaks increase productivity and creativity. Working for long stretches without breaks leads to stress and exhaustion.” Be sure to bookmark this to use next time you’re home for the weekend and your parents are asking you why you aren’t studying.
If you’re one of those people who find themselves staring at their computer screen just waiting for your genius to find you, take a break. Stretch. Get your blood moving again.
I’m not saying take an hour-long break for “just one episode of (insert ‘the best TV show ever’ here)” because we both know that “one episode” really means 10 and if you’re over-extended, there’s no way you can fit 10 episodes into your to-do list of responsibilities. Save the binge for the winter break.
Instead of an hour of rest, Oxford Learning suggests a 10 to 15 minute break while inc.com suggests implementing a break every 90 minutes. Before you cringe at the thought of a solid 90-minute study session, the site did say that taking a break every 50 minutes is also a good option when studying or doing homework.
During your break, remember, 10 to 15 minutes isn’t super long, but it will give you enough time to stand up, stretch your arms up to the ceiling, reach down and touch your toes and maybe take a walk around your kitchen. Just enough time to remind your body not to go into mind-numbing default mode. This, along with some deep breaths, should help wake you up and keep you more alert as you sit back down to finish your homework.
So, go ahead, try it next time you’re home and let me know what you think. If your mom sees you and nags about not preparing for your finals, give her the quote and remember: you didn’t hear it from me.