Career Advice

Why Taking Breaks Can Be Productive

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By: Mariah Rogers
Nov 11, 2020 • 6 min read

Why Taking Breaks Can Be Productive – Especially if You Work From Home!

You have probably heard that the new generation of workers is often referred to as the “burnout generation.” We work hard at our 9-5 jobs and then schedule in side-hustles for afterward. Multiple income streams have become the norm, and many of us push ourselves to the max to wring out every possible ounce of productivity.

Does this narrative sound familiar? Have you ever felt guilty for taking breaks and doing nothing when you could be pushing yourself towards your future career goals? If so, we are happy you came across this blog post. Keep reading to find out why breaks can be productive – especially if you work from home!

taking breaks

Avoid Burnout 

What exactly is burnout? Well, if you have ever experienced any of the following after a long workday, you may have overworked yourself.

Symptoms of burnout: 

  • Tired, sore eyes, as a result of many hours staring at a screen.
  • Headache, dehydration, exhaustion.
  • Fidgeting, restlessness.
  • Feeling tired, even after a good night’s rest.
  • Feeling uninspired, non-creative, and struggling to develop innovative solutions when it is typically fun and easy.

Avoiding burnout will be much more effective than recovering from it. So, this is where breaks come into play! Avoid pushing yourself so hard that you experience burnout, and as a result, you will not lack motivation to complete essential tasks. Normalize taking breaks, especially if you feel overly tired or just having an “off day.” This way, your mind and body will be fresh and ready to tackle any demanding work-related problems.

Fuel up. Make Meal Breaks Mandatory!

Have you ever been so busy during the day that you completely forget to stop for lunch? This happens to us every so often, especially during your final exam week, before an important presentation, or leading up to performance reviews. However, it is essential to make sure that this does not become a habit. If you are skipping meals to get ahead on work multiple times a week, now is the time to put a stop to it!

Taking a break to enjoy a meal is nourishing for both your mind and body. Food is focus! Energize your body with healthy fats, protein, carbs, and sugars. As a result, you will feel more fueled, creative, and satisfied so you can finish the workday strong.

If scrambling to make meals in the morning before work causes you stress, try meal prepping techniques! Make this part of your Sunday routine and learn to enjoy creating delicious meals that will help you power through the busy week ahead.

taking breaks

Improved Relationships 

If you begin to normalize taking breaks and start making these sacred moments part of your routine, you may experience improved relationships in your personal and professional lives. This is because taking breaks will allow you to carve out time to check-in with family and friends during the day. You will also not be so burnt out by the end of the week that you can’t spend time with loved ones over the weekends or at nighttime.

Your work relationships will also experience some improvement. You will be better focused and refreshed after prioritizing your breaks, so you will act as a more effective and focused team member. You will have increased social skills helping you to enjoy your coworkers while completing the task at hand.

Increased Energy for Passion Projects

Do the weeks seem to just keep slipping by? If you have passion projects you have put on the back burner, taking breaks from your regularly scheduled tasks can help you gain the energy you need to allocate your time more wisely. This will boost your mood and add more overall value to your life!

If you do not take breaks during the workday, you will find yourself struggling to make it to the end of your shift. This will leave you feeling drained, overworked, tired, and frustrated. You will most likely go home without any energy to spend on achieving a healthy work-life balance. 

taking breaks

Better Communication 

Have you ever experienced frustration when communicating with coworkers or family when you are simply exhausted from working so hard? Is it hard to articulate exactly what you think when it seems like you haven’t had a break to catch your breath yet today? This is a recipe for poor communication skills, which can actually make your situation worse.

Taking breaks to allow your mind to rest and re-gain focus will help you better communicate the point you are trying to get across. You will also make more rational and calculated decisions, which is especially important if you work in a field where extreme focus is mandatory for success. So, take a break for the sake of your sanity and to protect your relationships with others.

Self – Appreciation

Self-care is a form of self-love. So, show yourself some respect and take a well-deserved break! Get into the mindset that you deserve to take a break. Use your time away from work to focus on something that brings you joy and relaxation.

If your work allows you to leave the premises during your breaks, by all means, do so! Even if it’s simply sitting in your car with the seat back for a few moments while you breathe deeply, this can be all you need to make it to the end of the day. Read a book, listen to music, call a close friend, and laugh on the phone. It doesn’t matter how you spend your time, as long as you truly relish in your time off.

taking breaks

Mind-Body Synergy 

Have you ever felt your mind racing so fast that your body just can’t keep up? If your to-do list just keeps growing in length, but your body is physically tired, this causes unnecessary stress. Taking breaks will help your body catch up with your mind, and vise versa.

Go for a walk around the premises during your break, do some light stretches such as neck rolls and arm rotations. Give yourself time to regain your mind-body synergy. This is key to making your breaks as productive as possible so that you can focus on completing the task at hand.

More to Explore:

Supporting Friends Who Are Unhappy at Work – Here 

How to Decompress After Work – Here 

How to Advance Your Career – Here 

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