14 Dec Why is it Important to Take a Break Once in a While?
The Importance of Taking a Break
Working continuously for hours can make a person stressed and tired. Taking a break in between work is more effective than working continuously. There are many advantages of working with short breaks like it increases productivity, improves focus, and helps to avoid health problems.
“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”
More importantly, prolonged working can cause serious health problems like back pain, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. To avoid such problems, we need to give a break to our minds and bodies.
However, taking a break is a universal practice accepted and provided all around the globe. From educational institutions to workplaces, all have dedicated slots for leisure breaks. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of taking a break, how can we manage to take breaks between work, and the disadvantages to it.
Let us discuss all these points in detail.
Advantages of Taking Breaks
Some people think that working continuously with dedication and focus is the best thing to do. This interpretation of “hard work” is not effective. We can call that hard work, but smart work is better than the hard work, remember? Let us take a look at some benefits of working through brief breaks.
The human mind thinks in two modes, focused and diffused. Focused mode is required when we focus completely on one task, while the diffused mode is used in free thinking. It enhances creativity. This is the reason that more creative ideas come into our minds while taking shower.
However, when we take a break from work, our mind jumps to the thinking or diffused mode. Therefore, it makes us more creative and new ideas might jump into our mind regarding the task.
Taking a Break Enhances Productivity
Taking a break rather than working for hours increases productivity. As mentioned earlier, letting the mind think freely makes us more creative. Creativity is directly related to efficiency and productivity. A person who follows this strategy is the one who succeeds.
According to Travis Bradberry, “The 8-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.”
Prevents from Health Problems and Cultivate Healthy Habits
People who work more than 40 hours a week have a high risk of health problems. Especially, when they work continuously without taking a break. These people have a higher risk of developing health issues like:
- Lower back pain, neck pain, and headache
- High blood pressure
- Mental health problems
- Desire for Suicide
Due to long working hours, there is always a higher risk of developing unhealthy habits like:
- Insufficient sleep
- Drug addiction
- Drinking alcohol
- Lack of physical activity
- Unhealthy diet
- No socializing
On the other hand, people who take a proper break during work gives them time for developing healthy habits. Taking breaks gives them time for eating and socializing. Moreover, they create a stress-free and peaceful environment for themselves that avoids mental health issues. Similarly, taking a break is good for posture and prevents back pain and other body aches.
Encourage Taking a Break
The bosses of different companies and organizations should encourage their employees to take breaks. Similarly, they need to provide official lunch breaks and allow their employees to take personal short-breaks as well.
According to a survey by Tork, nearly 20% of North American employees avoid taking a break due to the fear that their bosses will regard them as “not hard-working”. Whereas, 13% of employees avoid it to prevent their co-workers from judging them. Moreover, the same survey also found that nearly 90% of North American Employees think that taking a break refreshes them.
Talking about a survey, Travis Bradberry in his article states that, “In the process of measuring people’s activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours.
The ideal work-to-break ratio was 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest. People who maintained this schedule had a unique level of focus in their work. For roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish.
They didn’t check Facebook “real quick” or get distracted by e-mails. When they felt fatigue (again, after about an hour), they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work. This helped them to dive back in refreshed for another productive hour of work.”
Therefore, taking a break should be made a part of the work culture. Likewise, the governing bodies and bosses must provide an uninterrupted lunch break of at least 20 minutes.
Different Ways to Taking a Break
Having a lot of tasks and being too busy can make a person forget to take breaks. Here are some tips that can remind you of taking breaks effectively:
- Agree with your friends and colleagues for tea or coffee. Stick to the agreement.
- Set an hourly alarm.
- Plan to do something you fancy, it will encourage you to get a break.
- Keep in mind the pleasure and benefits you get from the breaks.
- Use sticky notes as reminders.
Some Disadvantages that Arise from Taking Breaks
We know that there are many benefits to taking breaks while working. But, there are also some disadvantages to it. Some of them are:
Disrupting the Flow
When you focus on a task, you create a flow and rhythm. Taking a break can disrupt that rhythm and workflow. Especially, if the work-place is strict regarding break-rules.
Risk of Losing Productivity
Some people are more productive when focused. Going for breaks may cause them to lose their focus and hence, lose productivity.
Taking a Break too often
It makes a negative impact on your productivity, efficiency, and creativity. It enhances laziness, deviates focus, and lowers your interest in the work. This is why an ancient playwright Terence says, “I hold this as a rule of life: too much of anything is bad.”
From the above discussion, it can be derived that taking a break once in a while is very important. Besides, it helps in enhancing productivity and prevents mental and physical health issues. Also, it ignites creativity and develops an interest in doing work.
Moreover, it is important to change the meaning of “hard work” from “working consistently” to “working effectively”. And to be effective, taking a break in short intervals is necessary. As a result, we can create a healthy work culture.
Then, to avoid health and physical issues, you need to remind yourself of taking a rest for a while. Grabbing a tea or coffee after an hour, socializing with coworkers, and spending leisure time boosts up efficiency and creates a pleasant work environment.
Last but not the least, it is important to keep a limit while taking breaks. It can affect your work negatively. To prevent yourself from such problems, avoid excessive breaks, and show sensibility.