Breaks are frowned upon. Bosses think employees who take breaks are not as capable. Even though companies must, by law, allow some sort of “break”, nothing legally prevents your boss from raising hell about your “lack of motivation” in deciding to take a break from work. Sure, you can go ahead, take your break, but you bet your ass that boss is gonna make you sorry for choosing to do so.
While your break is allowed, that doesn’t mean it won’t be shamed or looked down upon. Employees will purposefully skip out on a lunch break in fear of coming across as anything less than diligent in their boss’ eyes. They’ll grind on for hours upon hours to “get it done” , but at what cost? Their mental sanity? Is it worth it?
I mean you’re sorta damned if you do, damned if you don’t, amirite? Like, either you take your break and get a nice little breather from your stress inducing job and wind up facing the wrath of your intolerant boss...or don’t take your break and continue putting yourself through tortuous misery.
But I say take your break. Fuck what your boss thinks. If he can’t tolerate you taking a fifteen minute break to unwind during the course of a hectic day, I don’t want to see him tanning out on his yacht. Seriously, there’s NO WAY the guy yelling at you to “get off your lazy ass and get back to work!” doesn’t ever take some sort of break.
And if he doesn’t, either he’s lying or a robot.
Breaks are a basic human need, and anyone that thinks taking one is a “waste of time” is absolutely cracked. Today, we’re going to explore all the quintessential benefits of embracing your laziness and taking a break -- how it’s not only okay but encouraged. Without further ado, let’s dive...right into it!
Grinding it out, working hours on end to see a project to its completion takes a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. To sit there, painstakingly trying to “get things done”, despite any signs of exhaustion you feel, is no doubt stressful.
Too much work leads to too much stress and that leads to feeling constantly “on edge” where even the slightest mishap can trigger a wild sense of aggravation and frustration. You’ll be literally crying over spilt milk with too much stress.
What taking a break does is relieve some of that tension. You can allow your muscles to relax, unclench any sort of uptightness in your body. Give a nice good long stretch, a and a yawn. You’re on break. Enjoy it. Indulge yourself a little.
Stress accumulates by pressuring yourself -- pressuring yourself to do more, get more, be more. You can reduce a lot of that pressure by taking it easy once in a while. Move closer back to center and away from the edge.
There’s this odd notion that if you’re not “pushing through” the stress then you’re weak. No, it takes a strong person to know when to fold and be able to walk away (on break) instead of playing an impossible hand to win with.
There’s only so much tolerance you have of stress. Don’t torture yourself and try to “push beyond your limits” or whatever. You’ll only wind up killing yourself. No seriously, too much stress can lead to chronic health issues like heart problems.
Never overwork or overstress yourself. Quit before it’s too late.
Don’t give into the idea that being a quitter makes you weak. Know when it’s time to call it quits and give yourself a well-needed as well as well-deserved break.
Take a break before you break.
Have more energy
Working drains you of energy, both physically and mentally. If you don’t put a stop to feverishly working, you’ll wind up exhausted, barely able to think yet alone move. You’ll quite simply burn out and be unable to continue working even if you wanted to.
Look, you can be the hardest working person on the planet (though chances are if you’re reading this blog, you’re not). But you’d still have a limited amount of energy to do all the work you’d want to.
Don’t ever reach 0% on your energy supply.Take. A. freaking. Break!
You wouldn’t leave the house without making sure your phone is charged, so don’t leave the house without making sure you are charged. Give yourself plenty of time to relax and reboot.
Taking a break allows you to “recharge your battery” so to speak. It’s better to work a few minutes on “full” then it is to work endless hours on “empty”.
Driving a car on empty gets you nowhere and so does driving yourself towards goals. Fill up your tank at a “rest stop” so you can finish the whole trip, that is to say, take plenty of time to ease and recover before moving on in whatever journey you set yourself out to do.
When your mind is at ease and not all worked up from stress or depleted from lack of energy, you are no longer burdened by any sort of interference and can completely focus on the task at hand.
People may argue that taking a break in and of itself is a “distraction” of sorts, but nothing is more distracting than the pain of stress or the feeling of exhaustion. Sure a flashy sign might be a bit of a distraction while driving, but it won’t sidetrack you as much as a foggy windshield glass.
You must clear that “fog” in your brain (by taking a break) so that you can see clearly and travel down the road towards your goal. The more you work, the more you “fog up the glass” and will begin to lose clear sight on where you are heading.
You must wipe your windshield once it fogs up, so that you can keep on driving. Take the time to take a break once in a while and clear your mind of any sort of “fog” holding you back and making you lose focus.
Of course, that’s all metaphorical speak. Let’s take a look at science. There has actually been a study that has shown that children in the classroom are more focused and able to stay on task when they take breaks.
It’s much easier to stay fixated on doing something when you don’t have the loud noise of stress ringing in your brain. Turn off the noise by chilling with a little break.
With stronger focus comes increased productivity, naturally. You can concentrate better on the task at hand and thus, actually get said task done.
No sense making yourself do “busy work” just for the sake of keeping busy. Be busy only when you need to be and on things that actually move things forward.
Productivity is moving things forward, in a nutshell. How often are you sitting at your desk doing a mind-numbingly repetitive task over and over again? You’re not really moving things forward. You’re not really being productive.
Sure, you’re working hard, but you aren’t being productive. There’s a fine line difference. You can work hard without being productive and be productive without working hard.
Ideally ,you want to work less with more productivity. Every move you make should have some sort of impact.
By taking a break, you’ll be clear-headed and able to aim towards the task that would be the most productive and have the energy to actually do it for that matter.
Make better decisions
I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired, I make my decision-making abilities are terrible. I’ll make a decision just to make a decision, rather than weighing the pros and cons to make the best choice like I should.
Fatigue hinders our decision-making process and it is through rest that we boost it back up to its full capabilities.
When it comes to making a big decision, people will often say that they need to “sleep on it”. The idea is that they’ll wait until they’ve had a full night’s rest before leaping into a decision that’ll quite possibly change the entire course of their life. When they wake up, they’ll be able to approach the decision in a relaxed state of mind.
While there of course benefits to a full night’s rest, a break of any amount of time before just jumping the gun into a decision can help you reach the best conclusion.Being able to take a step back and examine the ins and outs of the situation, without pressuring yourself to choose right away, will allow you to be calm in your approach when you do actually go ahead and make a decision.
Calmness is key to making thoughtful decisions. Most of your mistakes and regrets were probably the cause of some instinctive emotional reaction to something.
By taking a break, you give yourself peace of mind, removing yourself from the instant emotions that spark, and can then make a choice through calm logic and reasoning.
Your brain is a machine. And just like a machine, it can only power a finite number of tasks to run before it crashes.
If all your power is going towards coping with stress, then it doesn’t have much power to pick up a new skill or technique.
Furthermore, your brain is constantly “downloading” new information. From conversations you hear to articles you read online to crazy outfits you see on the street, your brain is constantly in the process of downloading so much info. It needs time to “install” all the new downloaded information it comes across and it can’t do that if you’re constantly buzzing around gathering new stuff for it to process.
By giving yourself a break and allowing your brain to “catch up” with all the new stuff it’s picked up, you can actually begin to well, learn it, and install the software.
Don’t pull an all-nighter to study for finals. Studying for a test for hours can only get you so far. You need a break in order to retain all that information.
Pull a “study a little bit then take a break” nighter.
The more you try to cram in your brain without proper “processing” time, that is, rest time, the more likely it is to glitch out or crash, just like a real computer.
Give it enough information for your brain to handle without going overboard and let it sort of “render the files” so to speak. If you’re editing a video and don’t render the files, you might end up with glitchy visuals.
Similarly, if you don’t let your brain render all the information its learned, you’ll end up with glitchy thoughts (failure to remember something, not remembering precise details, etc.) or at the very least, a headache.
Writer's block. If you’ve ever written a term paper, you’ve probably experienced this.
It’s where no matter how hard you think, how hard you try, you just...can’t. You can’t write. You can’t come up with the next sentence. You can’t form the next argument or make the next point. You’re just...stuck.
Stuck in a moment in time where the blinking little line cursor on your Word document is the black hole of your existence.
Stuck there until oblivion. You just don’t know what to type next. You keep trying to come up with the words, trying to come up with the linguistic art structure to properly articulate your thoughts.
But your thoughts are a big blob of slimy mess. They don’t make sense. You’re not making sense. Nothing makes sense. Make sense! Damnit.
And you sit there, shaking your head, maybe slamming it on your desk. Begging, pleading, calling upon the creative gods or something to help you imagine, help you write.
It seems like a frivolous task. Were you ever even able to write ever? You begin to wonder.
It’s an odd feeling. One of entrapment. Perhaps if it’s in the wee hours of the morning, maybe even a bit existential.
But either way, there is a trick to escaping this imprisonment and it’s simple. Yup, you guessed it! Take a damn break!
Creativity is like hair. It grows on your own. But the more you cut it, tie up, and play with it, the less it’ll grow. You just need to leav it alone and let it grow and it will.
(Of course, I hear the bald guys screaming BUT IT DOESN’T GROW!) Point is, creativity grows on its own if you give it time to manifest. Reaching to be creative when you’re “out of juice” will get you nowhere
Allow yourself to take some rest. Your creative energy will soon begin to spark. As a matter of fact, I can’t count the amount of times i had to stop typing in order to go take a break in order to get this article done.
Musicians will come back later to finish their licks or lyrics. Authors will write the next chapter another day. When it comes to producing something, especially that of creative nature, don’t rush to get it done. Get it done when the creative energy is there. You’ll feel it. Trust me, and if you don’t feel it right now, go ahead and take a brake.
While there may be a bit of a bad connotation with taking excessive breaks, it’s better to be clear-headed and focused for a little while than consistently stressed and trudging on.
Don’t wear yourself out and avoid taking a break because you think it’ll be an unproductive use of your time.
Your phone can read e-mails, tell the weather, play games, and research info. It’s not a waste of time to charge it up so it can do all that. Likewise, you gotta take time to charge yourself up. Plug in so your batteries don’t die.
Tim Krieder said in the New York Times in 2012: “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets… It is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”