You should stare off into space more! Who ever thought you’d get the “okay” to do that? Research shows that taking a small break can lead you to become better motivated and more productive during the day. Heather Fisel, author of FIDGET! shares how long you should stare off into space.
Go ahead, stare off into space. When you turn your attention away from the computer screen you’ve been laboring at all morning, you’re doing your focus and your eyes a world of good. Called “microbreaks” or “visual breaks,” these periods of staring at absolutely nothing are smart visual fidgets that refresh the mind, reduce eye stress, and get you back on task. Feel free to stare at anything that isn’t directly in front of you. Glance at the ceiling, stare at the carpet, or look far ahead at something on the walls. As long as it’s something new, your brain and attention span will soon reset.
Researchers recommend turning and looking at something far away for the following lengths of time:
• 15 seconds to reduce fatigue
• 30 seconds to improve mental acuteness
• 5 minutes to give your eyes a break
• 15 minutes to increase productivity
Trying to focus your attention on a single activity for hours upon hours becomes both boring and difficult as the day wears on. Your mind will inevitably start to wander, so keep yourself on task, better motivated, and less exhausted by incorporating staring breaks into your routine as a visual fidget. Breaking the workday into these short components helps concentration and results in better quality work too. Do your attention span a favor and stop staring at your current project for just a few seconds, no matter how much stress you’re under.
You should add doodling time into your workday.