Why You Need to Take a Break
Let’s face it, when you’re in the thick of the hustle, it’s hard to pause to take a break. Sometimes it’s hard to agree with why you need to take a break (especially if you have a pile of work to do!). If you’re reading this, you’re probably a go-getter. You aren’t afraid of hard work, and you understand what a good hustle takes. You’re in it to win it!!! Am I right? I feel you.
One major thing I’ve learned in the last two months is the value of taking a break. I took some convincing to embrace this concept (you might too!). So, here’s a little gift from me to you… my list of reasons for why you need to take a break.
“Breaks” can come in all forms, shapes, and sizes. You can take a break by pausing your work momentarily and walking your dog. You can take a break by taking a long weekend and going on a little beach vacation. You can also take a break by shifting away from one type of work to another for a moment. I’m going to be covering all sorts of “breaks” and why they are essential to your productivity and well-being.
Why You Need to Take a Break
1 | Avoid Burning Out
We are human. Yes, even you! 😉 So, that means that sometimes we get overworked, overstressed and overextended.
You know that feeling when your brain feels like someone scrambled it and put it back into your skull? Well that’s the feeling of being burnt out. You probably recognize it.
Burning out means you’re no longer productive in your work. You’re exhausted and frazzled. You’ve probably been working at hours on end and haven’t stopped to eat, sleep, or take your eyes off the computer. And yes, that means your productivity PLUMMETS. Avoid this at all costs. It’s not worth it. Your work suffers, your projects suffer, and people will know it.
Save yourself a little dignity and step away from the work!
Go – take a walk! Paint your nails! Or eat a sandwich.
Just don’t burn out.
(You’ll thank me for this later.)
2 | Examine your processes and workflows
One reason why you need to take a break once in awhile is to examine your work at a macro level. Is the workflow you have been using for the last 6 months still working? Is the project management tool you’ve been using living up to vision you had in mind? Are you efficient with your time or did you just let the last couple hours slip away?
Walking away from your work for a weekend or even for a week allows you to take a good look at your day to day tasks with a sharp and clear mind. Getting away for a period of time (more than a day, let’s say) gives you time to get perspective. You’ll come back to your work as a fresher and wiser version of yourself. You’ll probably even have some new insights and ideas to bring to the table that you hadn’t thought of before!
3 | Have a fresh mind
Research suggests that our brains can focus effectively for about 90 minutes. During that time period, our brain has hits the highest point in our attention span and then our attention span drops.
It’s at this moment that you need to briefly step away from your work for a short break. It’s often best to do a small activity that is completely different from the work you have been doing. For example, if you have been writing a document or designing a mockup, get up and walk around your office to get your blood flowing… don’t look at your phone!
Switching to radically different tasks momentarily will actually help focus better when you return to work. You’ll will be mentally refreshed and ready to attack the task at hand.
4 | Cultivate your creativity
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know how important cultivating creativity is for me. I actively work on strengthening my creative muscles daily. One of the biggest reasons why you need to take a break is to nurture the creative side of your brain. The creative side of your brain solves problems and comes up with innovative ideas. The creative side of your brain is what wows your team at work and impresses your boss or clients.
You can’t be creative if your mind is overworked.
As a creative individual, your brain thinks more clearly when it has had time to rest and unplug. If you let your brain off the treadmill for some time, it’ll be able to get back on with more energy and strength. You’ll start seeing all the golden nuggets of ideas pouring in!
5 | Be nicer to the people in your life
I’ve noticed that if I haven’t taken a break in my work day or haven’t had a day off in a few weeks, I tend to get a bit grumpy. This attitude sometimes rears its ugly head to the people around me (friends and family). It’s not fun for them or me!
Typically, if I step back and assess why I’m feeling cranky or grumpy, I realize that I haven’t rested or taken a break! My brain is just so wound up and uptight that it can’t process patience or empathy. For me, this is a major warning sign to drop my work and RUN (for a little bit at least).
Your family and friends are why you need to take a break. Give yourself a timeout from work so that you can be the best version of you to the people you love. At the end of the day, those people matter a whole lot, don’t they?
6 | Tap into your subconscious mind
The subconscious mind is powerful. It’s what keeps us breathing when we’re sleeping, it’s what helps us remember to chew before we swallow, it’s what accesses the most powerful parts of our brain. A major reason why you need to take a break is so that you can clear a pathway for your subconscious mind to work its magic.
Your subconscious mind is always on. It’s the powerhouse behind those amazing shower thoughts or brilliant breakthroughs you have in your garden. Decluttering your brain by stepping away to take a break and rest your brain enables it to access the subconscious mind easily.
Taking sufficient breaks in your day or even taking a full afternoon off once in awhile will allow your biggest challenges to simmer in the back of your mind…. And let your subconscious mind do the heavy lifting. Isn’t that awesome?!
7 | Because sleep is vital
Another massive reason why you need a break is so that your active brain (conscious mind) can shut off for some time. This means you need to allow yourself to get a solid amount of sleep every night. Being groggy, exhausted, or sleepy will wreck your productivity.
I’ve had days running low on sleep and those are always the hardest days to form full sentences. Skip the struggle and treat yourself to a break by sleeping in! Choose a day in the week that works for you and sleep. The time you lost will be made up by an extremely alert and fully function brain 🙂
What are your favorite ways of taking a break? What do you do when you feel overworked or stressed? I’d love to hear. Comment below with your thoughts!