Our brain can only focus for so long. To improve our cognitive function, we need to take breaks to “shake it up” and revive our energy and focus. One of my high school students with a lot of schoolwork on her plate came to a wonderful realization. She redefined her concept of a “break”.
Rather than wandering off to eat or checking out the action on Facebook or YouTube (easy places to lose a lot of time) she discovered that switching to a different kind of assignment was a successful break. After reading for English, her break was a switch to math – and then the next break was a switch to health before she switched back to reading for English. Her brain was energized by the changes! She found her total homework time was less than when she took her traditional breaks.
The next time you feel like you need a break, follow my student’s example and stimulate your own cognitive functioning by choosing to do something for a break that gets something done. Not only will you give your brian an energizing change, you’ll complete a goal, and, you might actually save yourself some free time for a fun “guilt free” break!
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.