Have you ever felt, “How can I take a break when there’s a pile of work to do?” or “I don’t deserve a break because I feel like I haven’t been putting in my best ” or “I shouldn’t take a day off, it won’t look good”?
If not, then wow! Teach us, sensei!
If yes, then we’re here to remind you what you already know - in the pursuit of perfection, you might be harming yourself.
A recent study conducted by World Is One News (WION) says young Indians feel guilty about taking leave from work. This is also the case in growing economies across the world. It feels great to contribute, have an influence, and create an impact, but not at the cost of your mental well-being.
Productivity works in mysterious ways. But it declines after 1.5 hours of focused work, and requires a session of play. A change of activity allows your mind to replenish the energy bucket you’ve been using. Your mind and body will not ask for these breaks, they will only nudge you and you must learn to recognise the signs. If not, they will push through, running on reserves, and your performance will suffer. The long-term effects include fatigue, stress build-up, burnout, and other serious mental health problems.
A mindful break helps -
. Reduce stress . Restores motivation and focus . Enhances creativity, memory, and learning . Averts fatigue and strengthening concentration . Improves cognitive performance and mental well-being . Increases productivity
Nature and science both say that breaks are necessary. Unfortunately, the ‘you snooze, you lose’ attitude has created a stigma around taking leave from work. Such notions are detrimental to you as well as your organisation’s well-being. Working without taking breaks is like swimming without taking breaths; it leads to burnout and ultimately, drowning.
It is important to remember that you can’t build a good physique by going to the gym just once for 9 hours; you can’t stay hydrated by drinking 5 liters of water at a time; you can’t get healthy by eating a week’s worth of vegetables in one go; and you can’t de-stress by taking a 10-day break after 5 years.
Success lies in the routine. You’ve got to eat right every day, you’ve got to drink water every hour, you’ve got to exercise and meditate every day, you have to study every week, you have to work every day, and you have to take breaks every couple of hours and you have to pursue your hobbies every week.
Your work is just one of many aspects of life. You don’t feel guilty or undeserving of a balanced meal, do you? Why should you feel guilty about having a balanced life then?
Work hard, play harder!