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I am studying Computer Science and as a group of other students we tend to stay behind in university to do our coursework. Being computer science students we tend to work on a problem for hours on end with no break. We are there for a number of ours e.g. we didn't leave til 2am tonight. I want to break the habit of working and banging our heads on a problem for hours non stop by having little breaks or big breaks. I've been thinking aobut some activities but I don't know what we can do during these breaks. I've thought about card games but not everyone know how to play or wants to play. What can you guys recommend?

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what exactly are you doing while you are "banging you heads on a problem"? is it discussion? programming? brainstorm? – Steve V Nov 24 '12 at 1:22
More programming, maybe essays. – Johnathan Au Nov 24 '12 at 1:57

Perhaps the best is physical activity of some kind. That doesn't necessarily mean pumping iron or riding a stationary bike to nowhere...simply walking and getting out of the work environment might be enough.

I'm in no way a visual artist, so I find it helpful to challenge myself with something visual: Zendoodles, origami, whatever. It just has to be something completely different from the work activity and something I don't have any hangups about being particularly good at.

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Sometimes it is good just to free your mind but it depends how you work with your team but if your working pattern works, why to change it?

If you want to be more creative I would say change the activity completely. I wouldn't say card games is the best when you worked on the computer science, in my opinion is quite close, as you still trying to thing about patterns and algorithms.

Maybe try something still creative but completely different and fun. I would say Charades. There is a few advantages. You may control your time. Making three teams with 5 minutes each, you exactly control your break. It is still creative, but you may choose to play with a movie's title or cartoon characters or whatever you wish and it is fun in most of cases.

You may also try some physical activity which will get your blood going faster. In general change the subject and have fun.

Also, did you met pomodoro technique. There are a few nice apps to have better control on your time.

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Taking regular breaks is a great way to relax a bit and regain sanity, which makes you more productive at work. You could have some coffee or talk things that are unrelated to work.

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