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Take a (short) break to improve concentration

by: Anne O'Connell (28 June 2017)

As a proofreader, it's vital to maintain concentration while working to ensure a job well done. That's true of any detail-orientated job, but just how long can we reasonably keep that concentration level up? When busy, the temptation to keep going to get through the workload can be strong. That's especially so if you work in a culture of long hours and doing more with less. It should be seen as a strength not a weakness to take a break to regroup and refresh your mind.

To work at your best, take regular short breaks during the day and encourage those working for you to do the same. Get up from your desk and screen and give your eyes and brain a rest, even if it's only to get something from the printer. If you have five or ten minutes, go for a walk or call your Mum. As well as boosting concentration, consider too the health impact of sitting at a desk for too long (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40404457).

One size does not fit all: I can't proofread with music playing (I end up singing along), but someone else might find silence a distraction. And watch out: choose your break activity carefully or set an alarm to return to work so that you don't find yourself lost down a YouTube rabbit hole (but DO watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y_ERUFOn-M).

Not only will your work environment be a nicer, more welcoming place to be, improved concentration levels result in better performance in the long run. Be kind to yourself and your team to get the best results.

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Ref: 259 My wife says I take more time on breaks than on work!
Garry - 12:22 28-06-2017

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