Think you’re too busy to take breaks? Think again! Breaks are important to creating balance in your work-life, sparking creativity and innovation, and nurturing good health. I know because I take regular breaks.
What happened when I stopped taking breaks.
I have a habit of taking a break every workday and going for a short walk. The fresh air rejuvinates and relaxes me, and I gain clarity and focus. Despite this good habit, I recently found myself skipping my daily walk in order to get more done.
Every day I skipped my break it seemed taking a break was less and less necessary. I was doing great- except I wasn’t really. I was forgetting important details and it was taking me longer than usual to accomplish ordinary tasks.
On Monday I found myself less frenzied- less busy- and I decided to take my normal walk I’d been missing out on the last few weeks. As I walked I felt my tension drain away, along with many distractions I’d been carrying around with me. As I walked I realized I had completely forgotten about an important deadline quickly approaching! Fortunately I had time to complete my reports and turn them in by the deadline.
I only took a break that day because I thought I didn’t have anything due when the opposite was true, but if I hadn’t taken a break that morning I might have missed my deadline by not taking breaks because I wasn’t allowing myself the opportunity to refresh and re-energize my body and mind.
Taking breaks will help you get more done- really!
- Taking breaks increases productivity and efficiency.
- Switching focus from one project to a leisure activity sparks creative problem solving and innovation.
- Breaks reduce physical and mental stress.
- Taking breaks allows us to see to our basic physical needs.
- Breaks improve physical health such as reducing eye, back, neck and shoulder strain.
Oh, and breaks won’t just help you get more done, they also promote happiness. Don’t believe me? Read on for some fun break suggestions, try a few, and notice feeling lighter, more rested, and happier overall.
Image courtesy of Crisologo
Enjoy a break today!
- Go for a walk.
- Get a drink of water.
- Grab a healthy snack.
- Roll your shoulders back.
- Take 3 deep breaths.
- Unglue your eyes from the computer and refocus them elsewhere (go ahead, I’ll wait!)
- Read a magazine.
- Stop what you’re doing and smile for no reason.
- Wiggle your toes.
- Play Words With Friends.
- Catch up with a friend.
- Take a power nap.
- Do nothing for 5 minutes!
Nobody really wants to work for the weekend- at least I don’t! Maintaining work-life balance helps me get more done and feel happier about life. No excuses- if I want a great life and great success I have to take regular breaks. I schedule breaks on my Outlook calendar the maximum benefit.
Breaks can take take anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes. What you do is up to you. Just take a break and enjoy it!
I love your comments! Do you take regular breaks? Does it help you get more done? What are your favorite activities when you take a break?