When you are learning something new or tackling a problem, you have to concentrate, but you also need to access the diffuse mode to get new ideas and solutions. —Rose Caiola
What To Do
Focus all your attention on the problem or task at hand without any distractions—no checking phones or popping on to social media. Try to keep at it for at least 15 minutes—more if you’re invigorated or “in the zone.” Stop and take a short break; aim for 10 minutes. This is your time to relax, go on a walk, read a book, or call a friend. Return to the project. Repeat the work-break cycle as needed until the task is complete.
Why To Do It
Science confirms that the brain has two modes of learning: focus and diffuse. Stepping away from a task allows us access to the diffuse mode, which frees our brains to examine the situation in a fresh way. So don’t skip those well-timed breaks—they actually boost learning.