Importance of breaks while studying

Importance of breaks while studying

Students often pile up their work and study one day before any exam or test and that’s not a very productive way to function well. Such behavior may lead you to score fairly but the learning only happens when you fully emerge yourself in the task and enjoy retaining the information and discussing it with your peers. Such an unorganized way of learning not only affects you mentally but also has an adverse effect on your health.

Hence, it is important that we understand the importance of taking a break and don’t feel guilty or feel that we’ll miss out on something if we don’t always study. No good student will advocate that they study 24/7; rather if you want to be a good student, focus on your overall development not just academically.

You may have planned your studying strategy and organized all necessary study material and important notes. Everything you need is available for studying properly at your arm’s reach but aren’t you missing one important thing? Well, let me remind you, you probably forgot to take a break or add break time to your timetable and this could lead to burnout easily. So, let’s understand the importance of breaks while studying a little more.

Why taking breaks is important:

Firstly, you need to understand that all those topper students do not study for straight 12 hours. They do not spend all of their waking hours with a book. They, in fact, understand the importance of break time and purposefully add break time in their timetable in order to achieve the most out of their studies without getting burnout and losing their focus.


  • They make you feel recharged and energized to perform better and refresh your mind to concentrate again with new zeal.
  • They boost your productivity and help you stay active while studying for long hours. Studies have time and again proved that study breaks increase productivity.
  • It helps you retain information longer by keeping your stress level in control.
  • It helps you retain your social skills and provides you with time to spend with your family and friends.
  • Active break time helps you relax your muscles and thus, helps to retain good health.
  • It helps you maintain your mental health by controlling your stress level, retaining your positive thoughts, and maintaining your level of motivation.


Hence, this is why taking breaks is important. Study breaks increase productivity along with providing clarity of the subjects you’re studying, it gives you the energy to retain information clearly and for a longer period of time. It gives you the opportunity to prioritize other important tasks as well. Now after understanding the importance of breaks while studying, it is essential to understand how to purposefully take breaks to gain optimum benefits and how often should you take breaks while studying.

In order to understand when and how should a person take a break, it is important to find the right study-to-break ratio. This is a very subjective concept because every student has their own capacity to retain information, sitting hours, physical ability, etc.

How often should you break while studying?:

Ideally, studying for 30-50 minutes at a time with 10-minute breaks in between is the most effective way to retain information. Hence, an ideal study-to-break ratio should be 30:10 or 50:10 depending on your learning capacity. However, you can modify this ratio as per your study plan, syllabus, study time, and other priorities.

If you’re studying on a screen or attending online lectures, make sure you take a 20-second break for every 20 minutes that you study in order to relax your eyes and muscles.

Never study for more than 2 hours without taking a break! It will lead to serious burnout and a lack of productivity. If you want to maintain consistency in your study goals, it is essential to take breaks.


Work time:                                           Break time:
20 minutes 3 minutes
30 minutes 5 minutes
45 minutes 10 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes 45 minutes
1 hour 45 minutes 50 minutes
2 hours 1-hour


Types of Study breaks for every situation:


  • If you realize you’ve been studying for hours, grab a snack to refuel your body and watch an episode of your favorite sitcom to refresh your mind.

  • If you’re stressing out, take some deep breaths, text your friends, or talk to a family member. You can also meditate for a few minutes to gather and calm yourself.

  • If you can’t seem to focus,get moving and get outside, walk a little or take out the garbage or sit in the nearby park to get some fresh air.

  • If there’s something else going on in your life and you can’t get it off your mind,maintain a journal to write down what’s going through your head, it will help you work things out.

  • If you’re mentally and physically exhausted, set the timer for 20-30 minutes and take a power nap.

  • If the topic is “UGGHH” boring,look for other study material or resources, Search for Youtube video lectures or crash courses on the topic. Try studying in a group and engaging in an active group discussion on the topic.

  • If people around you are disturbing or being chatty,put on your headphones and tune in to some study music. You can also try soundtracks or classical music but don’t listen to lyrical music as this will further distract you only. White noise (ocean waves, raindrops sounds, nature asmr) can also work.

  • If you can’t really grasp the topic well,try teaching the topic to someone who doesn’t have the faintest idea about it. This will help you mentally work through the materials and also to remember them for a longer period of time.


The Pomodoro Technique:

If you haven’t heard of this before then fret not, because we’ll explain here how it helps you set a perfect balance between studying and break.

This technique solely relies on the timer. Pomodoro Technique suggests that for every 25 minutes of work, a person should take a 5-minute break as soon as the timer goes off. Depending upon how much you can concentrate at a time, extend your study time and breaks accordingly, you can also refer to the above-mentioned study ratio table.

Hence, taking breaks while studying is very important! It helps prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and can help increase your productivity levels. Taking regular breaks gives your brain time to rest, as well as helps you focus better when you return to your studies, thanks to the increased energy levels.

Breaks also allow you to focus on other activities such as exercise or recreation - all of which help boost mood and motivation - so that when it comes time to sit down and get back into studying, the experience isn't quite so grueling! Breaks can also provide an opportunity for new insights; sometimes taking a step back is what we need in order to find clarity and understanding. So, don’t be afraid to take some time away from your studies and enjoy yourself every once in a while!

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