When studying for exams of writing essays, I like to take breaks every so often. Usually, these breaks consist of 5 minutes after an hour so of studying. Other times (usually later at night and around dinner time) I take a full one hour break between studying.I believe that the best breaks remove the brain from the task and environment that they were in and engage the full body, however, I always need to define a limit.
I enjoy using Google Calendar to define when it is time to study and when it is time for a break. I find that scheduling my breaks makes the process of studying easier since I get to set goals ahead of time. Usually, it goes something like this “after I finish practicing X amount of problems, I’ll take a ten-minute break.”
During my “study breaks” I find myself procrastinating and getting distracted with things I find barely interesting. After studying and taking three very important midterms (and one more on the way) I realized I was exhausted. My five-minute breaks would turn into 30 minutes, I had no motivation to keep going.
The point of a study break is to get the mind rejuvenated but I felt like mine was turned into mush after studying 7 hours a day for the past two weeks. I also realized I hadn’t done anything I truly enjoyed (socially) all I had been doing was studying and then studying some more. I decided to do an activity with a friend that would surely let me reset and make me feel better.
I then opened up my Google Calendar and organized a two-hour long break between studying for my exam and went to the movies. A good study break is one that allows you to take your mind off of studying and that was exactly what I did for two hours.
When I went back home I had energy and felt motivated to study. Overall, although there is not a specific amount of time you should take off as a break, it is important to recognize you need to take one that allows you to feel better and more motivated.