Take breaks. It is a well-researched fact: we have to take breaks to be productive. But why?
Protect yourself from collapse
Mental fogginess. Poor digestion. Extreme fatigue. Without breaks you are liable to suffer reduced productivity and decreased health. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of working harder and doing whatever it takes to succeed, no matter the strain on your brains or your body.
Stop being your own slave master. Instead become your own best friend. Look for signs of work stress and respond immediately. Even better, look for ways to prevent near collapse long before it becomes a reality. By building breaks into your schedule you are taking the time to protect your health.
Cooperate (with your self)
You are working hard because you have goals. But if you work too hard or too long, you actually endanger your ability to meet your goals because you endanger your health.
Take a step back and take stock. Is the work or academic goal you have set worth the price of your sanity or strength? (The correct answer is “No” just in case you hesitated.) So pause and reflect on how to make your work goals cooperate with your health goals. The two actually can support each other. In fact, when they do, your success is more Joyful and endearing. And taking breaks is part of that cooperation.
Increase your motivation
It is really hard to roll out of bed to and get started on that to-do list when EVERYTHING on is complete drudgery. Increase your motivation by working breaks into your day. Taking a break means having something to look forward to every hour or at the completion of a small part of a large task.
boost your creativity
Breaks are brain boosters.
Improve your work performance
It’s easy to get so focused on what you are working on that you forget to stop and smell the roses. Then, what you are working on suffers. However, when you step outdoors and drink in the scents and take in the sounds, your mind and your focus are renewed.
When you go a step further and reflect on how far God has brought you toward reaching your goals, you will find your self so highly motivated that your work performance improves. You actually become more dedicated to seeing the project to completion
None of that can happen without taking breaks.
Set the stage for problem solving
Everything listed above, including the need to decide when and how to take breaks, requires problem solving. But your ability to problem solve actually diminishes if you don’t take breaks.
Don’t get caught in a losing cycle. Take breaks from your work, so that when you return, you can solve your problems with greater ease.
Work at the pace God has set for you
Maybe the most compelling reasons for breaks throughout busy work days are the examples quoted in Scripture. Jesus often went alone to a remote place to pray. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us near quiet waters (from Psalm 23). Boaz taught the hardworking Ruth how and when to take breaks while gleaning barley (in Ruth 2).
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. – Jeremiah 31:25
Take breaks in creative ways
I think you will find your breaks more refreshing if you change up what you do. That’s why I wrote a post with a list of 27 creative ways that I like to take breaks.
Check it out and choose which ones in the list will work for you. Email me and let me know what you liked.