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Brain Power
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Four Brain Games

Be Smart, Take Breaks for Peak Performance

By Paul H. Burton

The mind is not a marathon runner. It’s a sprinter. When you push it too long, decision fatigue sets in and performance suffers. Filling the mental energy tank back up is easy. Just take a break.

Think of it this way: The mind is a product of the brain. The brain is an organ. Organs need rest and nutrition to perform at peak levels. As straightforward as this seems, we persist in believing that working longer and harder produces the highest performance. The reality is that success — of any kind — comes from working better and faster.

The first step to better and faster is to keep the main engine functioning properly. Take regular breaks throughout the day. Even a short break of five minutes gives the mind a chance to recharge.

Break Smart, Play Mind Games

Recharging the brain doesn’t require taking a nap, though there’s nothing wrong with napping. Simply redirecting the mind’s focus can produce the desired energy replenishment.

A fun way to take a break and improve your wordsmithing at the same time is to play one of the following mobile word-based games:

Quizzitive. This entertaining, addictive quiz game offers a new way to test and improve your vocabulary. (iOS only, Android alternatives available.)

Red Herring. Red Herring is a unique new puzzle game. Each puzzle has only one correct solution and there’s no time limit. Three difficulty levels make it suitable for the whole family. (iOS, Android and Windows.)

7 Little Words. If you enjoy crossword puzzles, word finds, and anagram games, you’re going to love 7 Little Words. (iOS, Android and Windows.)

Monument Valley. If you want to take a different kind of mental break, download this stunning maze game. (iOS and Android.)

These games are free with in-app purchases, so buck up the $1.99 or whatever to take full advantage of everything these games have to offer!

Mind Games for Success

Taking breaks helps us work better and faster. We produce better results in a shorter period of time. Gamifying those breaks with mind games sharpens the tool we depend on to perform at our best.

Paul H. Burton is a recovering corporate finance attorney who helps people regain command of their day. As a nationally recognized time management expert, he regularly speaks to audiences about getting more done and enjoying greater personal and professional satisfaction. He is the author of five books on productivity. Learn more at and follow Paul on Twitter @QuietSpacing.

Illustration ©

Categories: Daily Dispatch, Lawyer Health, Lawyer Productivity, Lawyer Time Management, You At Work
Originally published May 4, 2015
Last updated April 13, 2018
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Paul H. Burton

Paul Burton is a former corporate finance attorney and General Counsel who helps lawyers and legal professionals make the best use of their time. The author of eight guides on individual and leadership productivity, he delivers seminars and coaching services to busy professionals across the United States. You can learn more about Paul and his practice at

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