When you’re ADHD, taking breaks Improve productivity
Now there’s proof that taking breaks will make you MORE productive — not less.
Those of us with ADD / ADHD know that we need to take more breaks during typical activities to keep our attention from wandering. Unless we’re fascinated and enthralled with what we’re doing, our brains or bodies are going to start to fidget.
In 2009, the New York Times reported that taking breaks has been proven to be more beneficial for everyone‘s concentration, whether ADD or not! In studies done on children, it was found that the more physical fitness tests children passed, the better they did on academic tests. Taking a walking break improved productivity. With ADD kids, walking outdoors improved their scores on subsequent tests of attention and concentration.
The brain needs two forms of attention.
1. Directed attention – This is the kind of deliberate attention that you use when you’re working or studying, allowing concentration on analyzing, reading or test-taking. It’s a limited resource.
2. Involuntary attention – This is the kind of attention that takes over our brain when we’re distracted.
Long hours spent in directed attention, such as working on a computer, makes us feel fatigued. But walking in natural settings activates our involuntary attention. This gives the brain’s directed attention time to rest. In children, recess serves this purpose.
As ADD / ADHD Adults, taking breaks to engage in something pleasant that doesn’t require concentration will allow your attention to be more directed when you return to the work activity. So be sure to deliberately allow for breaks when you’re anticipating how long to spend on tasks. You’ll probably end up doing a better job at the task, and staying focused might help get it finished more quickly.