Breaks can feel like a necessary evil to the workaholic.
Trust me, I tend to be one. Having a strong productivity mindset can be great, but it needs balance. No matter how enjoyable your work is, it is important to get out of the working mindset every now and then. It is hard for me to remember, but true relaxation is important.
Breaks can be productive.
My biggest struggle with taking breaks is that I’m afraid I’m not making the most of my time. If I am not actively focused on work, education, or doing something with/for another person, am I being wasteful? I need to remind myself that the answer is no. This is why:
1.)Breaks allow your body to rest.
Whether it’s physical labor or staring at a computer, your body needs time to recuperate. If you do these activities with no rest, it can cause health problems. Sore muscles, headaches, stiff joints, and even more serious issues like blood clots can come as a result of neglecting the occasional downtime.
2.) Breaks allow you to do other things.
Sure, your work is important, but so are other activities. Sometimes that break can be used to get a few household chores taken care of. Perhaps it means taking a short walk, which can lead to better health and more creativity. Maybe it’s the opportunity you need to have a phone call or send a quick note to a friend to let them know you care. Maybe it is time for that power nap you’ve been craving all day. Whatever it is, you have an opportunity to do something that will make you feel great- do it!
3.) Breaks sharpen your mind.
Do you ever notice yourself getting fuzzy headed or brain-dead when you’ve spent long periods focused solely on your work? Taking some time out to do something entirely different is refreshing! Bonus points if you leave your phone behind for some of that time. When you come back, you’ll feel far more focused and might even have new thoughts to explore. I find that the best ideas often strike when I am not actively pursuing them.
Now that you’ve finished reading this post, are you ready for a break?
Seriously. Get up, stretch a little. Walk around. Pour that 5th cup of coffee, if need be. You’re going to rock your work time, and having a refreshed mind and body is the way to do it!