A recent article in Mashable details some interesting research about productivity as it relates to the work/rest ratio.
In an effort to determine who was the most productive over the course of the day, they used a time tracking application to monitor the work habits for the most productive employees. They considered the most productive employees to be the top 10% of the total. What they discovered was that the most productive people actually only worked 52 minutes at a time, then they take a break for 17 minutes. They found that during the 52 minutes of work, these people actually accomplish all of their tasks efficiently and got significant amount of work done. They didn’t check their email, they didn’t check Facebook, and they didn’t socialize with other workers. Conversely during the 17 minutes of break, they were completely disengaged from their work. They also did not check their emails or check Facebook. It’s quite well-known that a person can’t be 100% productive all day, and this research into the most productive work break ratio is quite revealing. Perhaps you should give it a try.