It’s 5:30am. Your alarm goes off. You wake up to start your day full of work, work, and more work. If you live in the western world, you’ve most likely been brainwashed with the idea of the more work, the better. If you take a break, a sense of guilt may begin to loom over you like a dark cloud full of rainwater. Anything but a break!
In today’s start-up, entrepreneurial world, it’s all about the grind. All about working your butt off until you’ve got that business up and running or until you’ve seen 15 patients in one day. While there is merrit to hard work and true grit, this quantity over quality system has got many of us burnt out.
What if I told you that the key to being successful, to being productive, may in fact be taking a break. Yes, taking a break. Letting yourself breathe. Letting yourself let go. Letting all the work you’ve done in the day marinate and get all savory, so you can come back to something even better.
Well, it’s the truth, and science agrees. Here are five ways that taking a break is proven to make you more productive:
1. Taking a break once an hour increases our work productivity.
After a long time of work our brain numb out from the overload of stimulation, and pushing through the mind-numbing overload will just make your brain explode. Studies show that those who let themselves get distracted or take a break about once every hour perform better than those who try to push through. The proof is in the pudding.
2. A break can serve as creative fuel.
Even if you’re a creative and you love your work, creation is impossible if you have nothing to pull from. When you’ve been working all day you may reach a point where you’re empty. Taking time to have a conversation with someone, to walk around, to get a tea, or play a little ping-pong with you co-worker may be what you need to fill yourself back up and spark a creative idea.
3. Physical movement keeps us from being mentally stagnant.
Have you ever been sitting in your office, after three hours of working, trying to type an email, your leg starts fidgeting like crazy, and you can’t figure out the simplest thing, like how to address your boss? Take that fidgeting leg as a sign to get up and move! The sedentary lifestyle is killing not only our creativity, but also our physical health. Get the blood flowing, get the oxygen up to the brain, and get your mojo back.
4. An afternoon tea break gives us more than a caffeine boost.
Stopping for a tea break not only gives your brain a break, it also provides amazing health benefits from all of the antioxidants in teas. Tea takes a little more time than a quick snack, making it ideal for a brain break and for the little amount of caffeine and hydration that your body will thank you for!
5. Playing hard helps us with working hard.
Do you get an energy slump after lunch time? Well, after that food has digest or perhaps before you eat lunch, go get a workout in. Studies show that a moderate amount of physical activity can boost your creativity for up to 2 hours afterwards! It’s like adding hours to your day! A change of scene, and increased blood flow will have your creativity at its best.
So, stop feeling guilty for playing. Stop feeling guilty for taking time for yourself, because in reality, it’s contributing to your creative brain and increasing your energy levels. Your boss, your business, your life, will thank you. How will you take a break, or two, today?