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Short Mental Breaks From Work Keeps the Brain Focused

An interesting study appearing in the journal “Cognition” says that even a slight diversion from the task can greatly improve our ability to concentrate and focus on that task for a longer period. While doing the same work for a prolonged period, we tend to lose our focus and our performance goes down.

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84 subjects of the study were divided into four groups and asked to perform the task. Three groups had to do the work without any break for 50 minutes. Only one group got a brief break from the work. It was observed that most of the participants’ performance had significantly declined over a period. However, in the group which had brief breaks, no such decline in the performance was noticed. The two short breaks from work kept the subjects focused during the entire task.

According to Alejandro Lleras,the lead author of the study and an Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, the brain slowly stops registering the feeling, sound or sight if the stimulus is constant for a long period. Sustained attention to any sensation makes it disappear from our awareness. Therefore, sustained thoughts might also see the same result. When doing a long task it is better if we take brief mental breaks. This will help the brain to stay focused and aware of the thought.

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