I have a very hard time taking breaks while I’m working on something. There’s always that one more thing I want to finish–There’s always that constant search for the perfect stopping point. Inevitably, the stopping point I had in mind comes and goes without any pause.
But what if taking regular breaks between work is a routine part of one’s day? What if it comes so naturally that you don’t even think much about it–you don’t feel like you have to try to squeeze it in?
Just imagine how much better any unpleasant task would be with more pleasant things interspersed in between.
Well, that’s just one reason to take breaks.
Yes, they can help you get through doing something that isn’t quite exciting, pleasant, or fun. However, there are many more reasons than that.
As I reflect on these reasons, I realize I should try to make a more concerted effort to address my habit of not taking regular breaks between work.
Perhaps you might be in the same boat. To remind and encourage us to take more breaks, below are the reasons why we should.
Why We All Need Regular Work Breaks
- Stay motivated: As already stated, breaks can help keep you motivated, especially in the midst of an unpleasant or unexciting task. That task becomes much more bearable when you sprinkle in things that you enjoy doing. You then have something to look forward to. There is more motivation to carry on, at least until the next breakpoint.
- Prevent burnout/mental fog/mental fatigue: Our mind is like a computer from back when computers first came out. If left running for hours, the computer overheats and shuts down. At some point, it needs a reboot. Working without pause can similarily cause our mind to shut down, i.e. burn out, have mental fog, or mental fatigue. And the reboot that the mind needs is a break.
- Reset your mind: Breaks can not only prevent burnout, mental fog, or mental fatigue but also go a step further to rejuvenate the mind. They can help keep thoughts and ideas fresh, increase productivity, and inspire creativity, solutions, and perspective when you get back to whatever it is you’re working on.
- Stay grounded on life: Taking time to “smell the roses” through regular breaks is a great way to be reminded that those roses exist. In other words, there is more to life, which we can miss out on, not notice, or not enjoy if we’re constantly buried in work.
- Keep sadness and depression at bay: Not surprisingly, not smelling the roses, experiencing burnouts, mental fog, and mental fatigue, as well as struggling to stay motivated can start to get sad and depressing after a while. So, taking regular work breaks can only help keep those feelings at bay.