Like many others, I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. It's increased since I've begun freelancing since I do more work and have less meetings in person than before. But I've been noticing something cool: The less time I spend sitting in front of my computer, the more things I get done in a day.
I've been switching my schedule around and taking more breaks. One reason is to interact with others more since I feel isolated sometimes as a freelancer. Another is simply to meet the personal needs I have. Here's a typical schedule lately:
7:15am - 9:00am work
BREAK - find new location to work in
9:20am - 11:00am work
BREAK - meditate for 20 minutes
11:30am - 12:30pm work
BREAK - walk and get my daughter from pre-school and down for a nap
1:15pm - 3:00pm eat lunch and work
BREAK - 3:00pm - 7:15pm family time
7:15 - 9:30pm work more if necessary or do something fun
I'm getting a ton done by working in 60 - 120 minute intervals instead of trying to power through 3 or 4 hours straight. Sometimes I break to meditate, to go to the gym, to take the dog for a walk, or to step out of the coffeshop to phone a friend. It works! Higher productivity, less stress.
Want to learn more about this topic? See this NY Times article on mental concentration and taking breaks.
And let me know if you've had the same experience or something different!
Now for a longer break for the holidays!