The Surprising Truth About Microbreaks and Productivity

Martine Ellis
2 min readOct 23, 2022
Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

You’ve overcome your procrastination and (finally) started to focus on your task. The last thing you want to do is take a break — it will disrupt your flow, making you less productive… won’t it?

The research says no — microbreaks are good for your health and make you more productive.

What Is a Microbreak?

Microbreaks are short breaks (between 2 and 10 minutes) taken throughout the day. Microbreaks reduce your chances of developing musculoskeletal disorders. They also help you regain lost focus.

What Do You Do in a Microbreak?

Here are some examples:

  • Leave your desk to get a drink.
  • Do a few stretches or breathing exercises.
  • Step outside for some fresh air.

How Do You Remember to Take Microbreaks?

However, one of the problems with microbreaks is that it is easy to forget to take them, particularly when in hyperfocus mode. Here are three free tools that can help:

Alternatively, set the timer on your mobile device or use an old-school timer (like this one).

It’s time to stop feeling guilty about taking breaks — they are good for your body and your brain and increase productivity.

I am now writing on Substack and I would love it if you followed me over there; thank you 💛

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Martine Ellis

Wellbeing-driven productivity systems and strategies for people who are neurodivergent (or think they might be). Weekly email digest → notesbymartine.com