In the world of social media marketing, telecommuting, smart phones, tablet computers, laptops, and so on it’s easy to forget that you need to take a break from it all every once in a while. It’s even easier to remember that you should take a break, but continuously talk yourself out of it. Unplugging once a week from your business, your computer, and maybe even your phone is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. As Katherine Droguette says in Why Its Important to Unplug From Your Business Sometimes:
Taking a break from the monotonous work is highly necessary. Not only do you relax your mind but, believe it or not, your efficiency is increased when you get back to doing the same work. For example, there’s a term called ‘Writer’s Block’. This refers to a condition when creativity of a writer hits a stumbling block during the course of writing. Stress and over-concentration is a major cause of this condition. As such, most writers prefer to overcome this obstacle by taking a break from writing. Once they get back to their work, they are more refreshed and enthusiastic then before.
Just like any other task, relaxation can also be called a skill. However, your efforts are paid off right away in this case. Mastering this skill of unplugging from your work can result in more productivity, focus and efficiency. Unplugging means shutting down the noise of outside world and allows us to really feel, reflect and feel. The process is synonymous to rejuvenating your body in a spa. Here, the element that experience rejuvenation is our sub-conscious mind. The process of unplugging opens up new opportunities for our sub-conscious mind which are often locked away or repressed.
You can’t be on full blast all of the time, and you will only wear yourself out trying. Ben Yoskovitz says it very clearly in his article Be More Productive By Taking A Break:
All the productivity systems ever invented, all the to-do list sticky notes ever stuck to your desk, and even all the caffeine you’ve ever injected can’t stop you from slowing down and losing focus.
Great productivity isn’t about working all the time.
Great productivity is about being effective when you’re working.
And one key to being effective when you’re working is to make sure you’re not working all the time.
Don’t make the mistake of passing up on a good vacation or a day off. Vacation is a necessity:
Today’s world business is fast-paced and changes at lightening-speed. Your instincts tell you to speed up, to go faster, in order to win the race. But by doing so, you might miss and important warning sign or alternative route that will take you to a much better place. Taking a vacation – even if it is sunning in your backyard for a week – will slow down the sensory input, free up your mind for some creative thoughts, and allow you to reflect on the big picture. Vacations are not just a luxury – vacations are a necessity.
Don’t forget about the little breaks through out the day either, as points 3-6 make it pretty clear that it’s super important to step away from the desk from time to time in Sitbetter’s 7 Reasons Why it is Important to Take Breaks at Work
3. Burnout: People who work continually face complete burnout and what good is a burnt out employee? Physical exhaustion can lead to problems such as chronic headaches, fatigue, inability to concentrate, and trouble sleeping at night. Even if all you take is 15 minutes during an 8 hour work day, you can use that time to refresh yourself and feel more energized the rest of the work day.
4. Productivity: Many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks are dramatically more productive during the day as opposed to those who do not. After a break, your performance levels increase dramatically so that you can tackle tasks again with renewed vigor and finish them accurately. Mistakes are also made more when you do not refresh your mind and body.
5. Heart Risks: After researchers in Finland conducted a study on a group of nearly 800 workers over the span of 28 years, they found that subjects who failed to find time to recover from their workweek were more likely to eventually die of cardiovascular disease. If people are not able to relax periodically, plaques can build up in their arteries which contribute to potential heart attacks and or strokes.
6. Stress: Focusing on a tedious task for too long can easily lead to physical and mental stress. Stress as most know, can lead to serious implications for our health. Common consequences of stress include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor fitness, low resistance to viruses, and serious illnesses. If something that is being worked on becomes too stressful, it is best to take a break from it and resume the work once calm and collected.
You need to get out from under your job and your business from time to time. If you don’t then you are only hurting your body, your mind, and your job or business in the long run. Take a moment to refresh, de-stress, move around (your mind needs that movement just as much as your body), and be separate from what you do. Put the phone on silent ant let the calls go to voicemail. Put an autoreply on your email. Take a moment to be. Just breath and be. You’ll be surprised at how much nicer life, your job, your world, and your mood become.