Have you ever used a touch light with a low battery, it has only shades of light without concentration or focus. You can’t see anything with it, you can’t go anywhere with it and you can’t achieve anything with it.Dr Serge
“Do something nice for yourself today. Find some quiet, sit in stillness, breathe. Put your problems on pause. You deserve a break.”
― Akiroq Brost
As humans, we often hold time as a limited resource. We have just 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, an average of 52 weeks in a year and just two-digit life spans. Yet, we have a lot to accomplish. We have high expectations of ourselves and so we often get weighed down with too much on our to-do-list and responsibilities on our shoulder. This awareness has made break moments appear to be an enemy rather than a recharge of energy.
Observing rest periods remains an inexpensive way to keep health problems to a minimum and maintain high levels of productivity at work. Both individuals and organizations need to emphasize on the importance of breaks at the workplace and individual life. Our aim should be to work smarter and not longer. Endearing yourself with rest hours helps you reinvigorate with a boost of productivity. It should be in our culture and ethics to take an official break from work.
Here’s why breaks are an absolute necessity in life:
- It Boosts Productivity
Prolonged work hours or days reduces human efficiency and makes us lose focus. The muscle gets weak and the brain loses it’s smartness. Even machines require servicing and some time to cool down to avoid breakdown. So do humans require time to renew their energy. Such time off should be counted as an integral part of the work.
- Better Health and Overall Well-Being
Understand the type of job you do and make out the best way to ease off in between work hours. Sitting on your desk throughout the day is sedentary and has adverse effects on your blood circulation, exposes you to obesity, heart disease and chronic joint pains. Walking out, changing the environment and relaxing doesn’t just reduce lethargy, it lifts moods and improves your overall health.
- Mental health
Until 1948 when WHO redefined health to include physical, mental and social well being of a person, the concept of health was greatly misunderstood. Johnny Carson’s popular quotes is “I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.” He was indirectly stressing the importance of mental health. You might appear to be healthy, and eat well but your psychological health is suffering. Give yourself a break before you break down.
- Emotional and intellectual Health
Our brain has two basic approaches to our daily tasks. It is like a floodlight with a focused centre and a diffused outer region. Let me say that emotion lies more on the diffused end while the accuracy comes with focus. When we work so long we lose focus, the diffused spectrum may remain. Have you ever used a touch light with a low battery, it has just shades of light with no concentration or focus. You can’t see anything with it, you can’t go anywhere with it and you can’t achieve anything with it. Never go on low battery life.
- Process and Retain Information
According to Professor Barbara Oakley, we can’t function in a focused mode for too long. There is always a need to take a break. When you take a break you recharge and refocus to see things in more detail. Break time, if long enough is a time to relax, read a book or watch a movie. You don’t really need to ponder over the details in every scene or line. The magic is that when you return to work your brain processing speed and capacity to retain information is optimized.
- Eureka moment is a break time gift
Break times are sometimes the breakthrough moments we need in our lives. Let me briefly tell you a personal experience. Sometime last year, I was at work in the emergency room, halftime into the duty and everywhere seemed calm, so I decided to take a walk to the cafeteria. While at the cafeteria, a what-if-thought flashed on me, ‘what if … the patient is having a heart attack’. At once I returned back to work, and that eureka moment saved my patient.
- Smoking is never good for your wellbeing. Do not use your break time to go smoking or drinking.
- Screens- Try not to press your mobile phone while on short break. Lay down and close your eyes.
- It is advised that you don’t think about work at this time. Try not to check your e-mail, bring work with you or talk about work during break. However, if you think about work then consider other possible dimensions to it. Think outside the box by asking, ‘what if’, ‘why is and why not’.
- Avoid busy and noisy places, consider having more of a private time or simply walk out and find a place where you can observe the beauty of the world
- Don’t revisit things that made you angry until the break is over
With love, I wish you all the best as you find time in your life to take care of your health. Do not work till you break down and do not allow yourself to break down before you realize you needed a break.
Health and Life Coach