Something you may or may not know about me is that I love having work to do. Being productive and getting things done is a huge stress-reliever for me. If I don’t have something to accomplish, I tend to get really bored or anxious. I love that sense of urgency that a to-do list gives you and that wave of satisfaction you feel after you’ve checked it off. No matter how big or how small, doing work and accomplishing goals plays a big role in my daily routine. I don’t know how I would function any other way.
That being said, feeling the need to be productive twenty-four seven sort of acts as a double edged sword. While it’s great to have that drive to be successful, it can also be very draining. Feeling compelled to be getting things done all the time makes it hard to sit down and relax, even if you’ve burned yourself out. In the back of your mind, you know it’s time to give yourself a break, but the rest of your brain won’t allow you do it.
When I put my work aside and try to get myself to relax, it becomes pretty difficult for me to think about anything but the productive things I could be doing. If I’m watching TV, a lot of the time I’ll start thinking about how I should be working on my laptop or skimming over my to-do list. I have trouble accepting the fact that breaks are a crucial part of health and success. That we need to allow ourselves time to decompress if we want to work as productively as possible.
For today’s post, I wanted to share a few reasons why it’s important to give yourself breaks. I have to confess that the main reason I’m writing this post is because I could use the reminder. If you experience similar feelings, hopefully you can use the reminder, too.
Your brain needs to recharge
Just like anything else, your brain needs time to recuperate. After you’ve gone through something particularly stressful or nerve-wracking, it’s crucial to give your head a moment to rest. Our brains aren’t meant to function in tiptop shape twenty-four hours a day. If we want to do things as best as we possibly can, then we need to give ourselves time off. Working over shorter but more efficient periods is much better than working over longer but less efficient periods. We should be focused on making the most of our limited work time rather than working in an endless loop. Giving your brain the time it needs to recharge will help you be more productive when you are working. It gives you the energy and the mental strength that you need to get things done.
All things should be done in moderation
There’s an old saying that says, “everything is okay in moderation.” I’m not really sure how accurate that saying is when it comes to most things, but I do believe that it fits in terms of work and productivity. No one should be doing the exact same thing over a long period of time without stopping. It isn’t healthy to be so preoccupied with one aspect of your life that it negates all of the others. We all should be having a healthy moderation of breaks. It’s important to give yourself that time step away from your regular routine and enjoy other things. You owe it to yourself to take the time to de-stress and unwind.
Being productive and finding success certainly requires you to work hard. However, there’s a major difference between working hard and working to the point of burning yourself out. Reminding yourself that it’s not just okay but necessary to spend time away from your work obligations, including your self-imposed ones. Wanting to be consistently productive is great, but not when it makes it impossible for you to relax.
With that, I’m going to end this post and give myself a little bit of time off. If you know that you’re in need of a break, I encourage you to do the same! It’s crucial to give yourself that time.
Do you struggle with letting yourself take breaks?