5 Reasons to Take Regular Breaks When Working
Benefits This Practice Will Make to Your Effectiveness and Quality of Work
A779-5 Reasons to Take Regular Breaks When Working
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There are valid reasons to take regular breaks when working if you’re someone who wants to maintain a consistent standard of performance.
Even though you may hesitate to have regular breaks, especially when you’re focused on something important, taking them will help you be more effective later during the day. That will ensure you maintain a high quality of work.
1-Minute Summary Video
Consider a game of basketball played over four quarters. A coach’s responsibility is to ensure key players are fresh, especially when the game is on the line. This means the minutes players are in the game is a major focus. Players will have multiple breaks, so they can perform at their optimal level when they are in the game.
Using the same analogy, we also need to manage our energy levels well. One way to do that is to take regular breaks.
What Can Happen if You Do Not Take Regular Breaks
A significant portion of the workforce today are knowledge workers, which means they sit in front of a computer when working.
If you do not take regular breaks when working, the disadvantages include:
- It can lead to mental and emotional strain, which will affect your physical health.
- It can cause eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision.
- It can lead to feeling tense and suffering muscle aches.
- It can cause a drop in concentration and productivity, which will affect the quality of your work.
- It can lead to feeling restless, tired, and being hungry.
- It can lead to bad habits, such as eating at your desk.
One technique I have learned, especially when writing, that helps me continue where I left off prior to taking a break, is to leave a sentence incomplete. This means when I return after taking a break, reading the incomplete sentence will instantly take me back to where I was before.
That simple hack and also using the Pomodoro technique has made it easier to take a break at least once every hour.
5 Reasons to Take Regular Breaks During Your Workday
It’s common to have resistance to taking many breaks when working. Having a morning, lunch, and afternoon break is what we’re accustomed to.
Here are five reasons to take regular breaks when working, so you can maintain your effectiveness and quality of work throughout your workday.
- You will prevent burnout. Constantly working can lead to physical exhaustion and feeling rundown. The more breaks you have, the lower the risk of you working yourself to the ground.
- You will have better mental and emotional health. Work is only one aspect of your life. If you do not manage your work life well, it will affect other areas. As you better manage how you work, you will take care of your overall health.
- You will release tension or stress throughout the day. We’re not designed to work constantly. Giving your brain breaks from constantly focusing will help you deal with stress you may feel a lot better.
- You will complete your tasks more efficiently. Regular breaks will help you renew your energy levels, which means your ability to concentrate and stay alert will improve. When you focus better, you will work more efficiently, which will also means you will not consume as much energy.
- You will greater clarity. Stepping away from what you’re doing can often help you see things from other perspectives. This can help with problem-solving and lead to increased creativity. The more clarity you have, the better sense of the big picture you’ll have.
Activities You Can Do During Your Breaks
Things you can do during your breaks include:
- Sitting somewhere quiet and closing your eyes.
- Going to the restroom.
- Taking a short walk.
- Having something to drink.
- Talking to a colleague or team member.
- Having something to eat.
- Listening to music.
- Letting yourself daydream.
- Reading something (away from your computer).
- Energizing yourself through rapid movements.
If you’re constantly working and do not take care of yourself, it will eventually catch-up with you. Taking regular breaks when working is an intelligent way to prevent any unpleasant consequences.
When you take regular breaks when working and make it a habit, you will perform better and produce higher quality work.
Action Step: Review how often you take breaks when working. If you do not take a short break every hour, build that into your schedule. Also, remember to take a longer break after every three or four hours of work.
Question: What are other reasons to take regular breaks when working?