How to use your brain properly to boost your performance (part IV)


(Sunrise @ Manly Beach at 6.45am; such a blessing to be able to see this every weekend.)

  1. Take a good and longer break during the day: this break from work is different from those 10-mins ‘micro’ breaks.

You can see this as a good break. I personally take two 20-mins breaks during my normal working day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the beginning, you can try to take one long break during your day; this is already a good start!

My coaching clients always ask me this question: “I’m already short of time for work, and you suggest me to take more breaks? How is this going to work?” My answer is that taking this good break makes your brain fresh and boost your performance, although you need to ‘invest’ in your breaks.

Back to brain functions. A fresh brain can perform efficiently during a short time. So you have two choices: (1) work for four hours without a long break; or (2) work for 3.5 hours and take a 30-min long break in the middle. Most people naturally choose option (1) without knowing that option (2) actually produces more outputs because your brain works better! Taking a longer break during the day also relax you and make you happier. Happy people have higher work performance; this is a golden rule!

What do you do during the long break? If you do morning/afternoon teas, then use this break for your longer tea break. I suggest my clients to have tea or coffee with colleagues during that time. More people, more fun! If you are not that kind of tea/coffee person, then I’d suggest that you go for a relaxing walk around your office (not inside your office!). This easy walk relaxes your brain and body very well. By the way, walking is actually one of the best options for relaxation and burns 20% more energy than sitting and playing your iPhone! ^_< Sometimes, I have meetings while walking with my PhD students around UNSW campus. This is how you can work and lose weight at the same time. My secret to maintain weight; don’t tell anyone else!

What if you can’t apply these principles at your work place? I will show you how to ‘tweak’ the principles to fit your environment in the next blog.

Dr. C. Richard Wu @


(Subscribe to my blog at