Take 5: The Importance of Taking a Break

Right now you’re sitting at your computer, or scrolling through your phone or touch-pad, reading this post. Most likely, if you haven’t had to recently, you’ll have to reboot this very device.

It won’t update software or function properly unless it’s restarted. Yes, it’s a machine, and yes, it was built specifically to work all the time. But even it needs a little break now and then.

You, despite your best efforts and accomplishments, are not a machine. You don’t function properly unless you’re restarted, refreshed, and renewed. If you don’t have time to take a break, or if you think you’re too busy to get to the end of this post, we’ve got some work to do. And I’m not talking about crunching numbers or finalizing reports.

Your productivity hinges on taking breaks. If success, creativity, and accomplishment matter to you, you’ll take note of what I’m sharing today.


1. Reboot

Have you ever worked until you “hit the wall” late afternoon? The 3:00 p.m. mark seems to have some magical force that saps you of all productivity and energy. You know what 3:00 is in our house? Nap time. And not just necessarily for the kids..

If you have kids, you know what it’s like when your child doesn’t nap. They get grumpy, fussy, cranky, and the world pretty much falls apart. Why? Because they need a reboot.

Why is it when adults need naps, we tend to label them as lazy or unmotivated, but when kids need a nap, we know it’s for their personal well-being?

The truth is you’re not lazy or unmotivated for needing a nap. Naps aren’t the antithesis of productivity, either. In fact, quite the opposite. Michael Hyatt is a big proponent of taking naps, and for good reason: they’re good for you!

2. Refuel

Every now and then, you just plum run out of gas. Your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone, and there’s  nothing left for you to give.

But you’ve just got to finish this one project…

The good news is you can get the juices flowing again. Try snacking on energy-producing foods like fresh veggies, cheeses, hard boiled eggs, or some whole grains. Your mind needs fuel to keep going just as your body does, and wholesome snacking can be just the trick you’re looking for.

The important key here is to stay on top of your refueling. Don’t wait until you’re famished and gorge on a scrumptious four-course meal. Your body also uses energy to digest what you’ve consumed, so you don’t want to put all of your refueling efforts straight into your stomach.

Also, remember to make wise choices when selecting your snacks. If you’re trying to keep yourself going, that vending machine candy bar or bag of chip(s) probably won’t do the trick. You’re fueling your brain, not your cravings!

There’s always time for treats, but not necessarily in the middle of your pursuit of productivity.

3. Recharge

Despite your level of determination (or stubbornness), forging ahead could end up doing you more harm than good.

Remember in college when you pulled all-nighters cramming for exams? It was the worst. You swore you’d never do it again. Why? Because it’s exhausting, drains our brain, and is more often than not a sign of procrastination rather than progress.

Sometimes, beating your head against the wall doesn’t help you bust through the wall, but only makes the knot on your head bigger. Take a break. Recharge.

Take a brisk walk, or a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood. Mediate. Read the newspaper. Stretch. Call a friend. Work a crossword. Hop on a treadmill. Get your mind (and your body) moving in a different direction for a while, so you can refocus with a fresh sense of clarity.

This article has some awesome suggestions, and scientific explanations behind the truths I’m sharing. If you won’t take my word for it, sounds like a little reboot is in order…

4. Revamp

If you always do what you’ve always done,

you’ll always get what you always got.

We’ve all heard that quote before, and it rings true in our productivity practices. Plugging along until you’re done doesn’t mean you’ve produced your best work. Maybe it’s time to take a look at how you’re doing things, and come up with a different strategy.

But, Trivinia, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, my friend, a round wheel still turns but a flat tire absolutely slows you down. If all that matters is crossing the finish line, go ahead and limp along. If you’re needing to move on to other accomplishments, though, it might be a good idea to change things up.

What are some fresh practices you could start? Who has some perspective you value and appreciate, and could shed some light on your project for you? Maybe that fun blog post you read about tips and tricks for success wasn’t all smoke and mirrors after all.

Give yourself a break to figure out ways to avoid the burnout, and revamp your approach. Taking time to reconfigure strategies and processes is worth your while.

5. Refine

I’m guessing if you’re reading this post, it’s because you really need some insight on how to give yourself grace in your work  and take a few personal time-outs. This is where refining comes in.

If this is new for you, it’s going to take some practice, tweaking, and do-overs. Don’t give up on taking breaks if you find yourself completely fudging your productivity. Take some time to weigh what works against what doesn’t and customize your routine to fit you.

I get an earlier start to my day than most, so I take different breaks from the standard 8-to-5er. I do it that way because it works for me.

No one knows you better than you do, so pay attention to what makes you tick and what rejuvenates you when you take a break.

Finding the right time, and right ways, to spend your breaks will propel your success to new heights. Take the time to tweak your habits.


The important thing is to realize you need to be renewed and refreshed just as much as anyone else. Labor forces have mandatory breaks written into law because they know the best work comes from the best-rested people.

Do yourself, and your business, a favor, and take a break once in a while.If you still need more convincing, there are a couple great article posts here and here.

Need to take a break and let a VA pick up where you left off? I can make that happen for you. Get in touch with me here!

 

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