14. 05. 2024

Recharge and Refocus: Why Taking a Break Boosts Your Work Performance

We've all been there – working long hours, logging on at the weekend to keep up with our ever-growing to do lists, eventually staring at a computer screen in a work fog, productivity and motivation fading fast. This is where the importance of a proper break comes in. It might seem counterintuitive to step away from your work when you're feeling behind, but trust me, taking a well-deserved break is the key to coming back to work refreshed and recharged. I took an extended weekend leading up to the bank holiday to celebrate my husband’s birthday. It’s become a thing in our house where he competes with the Royal Family as to who can celebrate the longest! But, if it wasn’t for his birthday, I wouldn’t have taken a well-needed break…I didn’t realise how low my battery was until I stopped for a few days. I was stricter with myself than I have been for a while, telling myself to switch off. And it really did me the world of good, a few day trips, seeing friends, eating lots of good food, we were in the moment, and I came back to work with a renewed energy.

Here's why taking a break is a step back but a leap forward:

Sharpened Focus: Our brains are like muscles. They get tired after sustained periods of activity. A break allows your brain to reset, improving your ability to concentrate and tackle tasks with renewed focus. Stress Reliever: Work can be stressful, and that constant pressure takes a toll. Breaks are mini-holidays that help you de-stress and come back feeling calmer and more collected. Increased Creativity: Sometimes the best ideas spark when you're least expecting them. Stepping away from the problem and engaging in activities you enjoy can lead to unexpected bursts of creativity, helping you approach your work from a fresh perspective. Boosted Energy Levels: A break can be the energy-boost you need. Get some sunshine, take a brisk walk, or do something you usually don’t have time for. Even a short break can significantly improve your energy levels and overall well-being. Improved Decision-Making: Decision fatigue is real. When you're constantly bombarded with choices, your ability to make good ones suffers. Breaks allow you to step back, recharge, and approach decisions with a clearer head.

So, how do you take a proper break?

The key is to disconnect from work and engage in activities you find relaxing and enjoyable. Take a walk in nature, listen to your favourite music, read a book, or spend time with loved ones. The important thing is to step away and allow your mind and body to truly recharge. If you’re even dipping in and out of work, it’s not a “proper” break.

Remember, taking breaks isn't a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength and self-awareness. By prioritising your well-being, you'll return to your work feeling refreshed, refocused, and ready to get ahead of those deadlines.

So go on, take a break! Your future self (and your boss) will thank you for it.

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