The Benefits Of A Break
The old adage “practice makes perfect” now may come with a caveat. A new study by researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia found when we attempt to learn new things, stepping away and allowing our minds to digest is an important element to improving at a task. The Washington Times reports:
“It takes time for the brain to absorb new skills, report psychology researchers Soren Ashley and Joel Pearson. Their study, titled ‘When more equals less: overtraining inhibits perceptual learning owing to lack of wakeful consolidation,’ was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences journal. ‘Performance on perceptual tasks usually improves with training,’ the study explains. But the research demonstrates that ‘too much consecutive training can be detrimental.’
As Pearson explains, ‘Many studies have shown that you don’t learn if you don’t sleep after a day of training,’ adding, ‘Likewise, overtraining can reduce learning if you don’t allow time for consolidation.’ If individuals practice at a task without taking a break, the exertion actually becomes counter-productive.” Read more here.
A good rationale for recess for kids—and walks or coffee breaks for grownups.