Discover the importance of taking short breaks at work. Relieve stress, spark creativity, reenergize, see the bigger picture, and strengthen friendships.
You’re not a machine. No matter how healthy, efficient, tolerant, or robust you are, you’re going to be worn out and burned out if you don’t stop and rest for a while. As exhaustion kicks in, you become stressed, inefficient, and distracted. Your mood may even darken as you become more tired. Worse, too much stress can cause health complications.
That’s why you need to take breaks; even machines need to stop for a while. Taking breaks does more than recover from stress, pressure, and exhaustion. It also improves productivity, helps you refocus, and forge relationships with colleagues.
Let’s check out why you should not skip break time.
Why You Should Take Short Breaks
There are several benefits of taking breaks while at work.
Whether lunch breaks, 15-minute mini-breaks, or bathroom breaks, short breaks help prevent and reduce stress. You can enjoy time to relax, enjoy some things you like to do, and distract yourself from the monotony and pressure of work. By recovering from stress, you can maintain optimal performance and a good mood throughout the work day.
While you’re at work, your brain works in two distinct ways: “focused” and “diffused.” When you take a break, you operate in a diffused mode in which your brain goes into a “daydream” and more relaxed state.
Research has shown that people solve problems and think of great ideas when the brain is in a relaxed state. Think about it: how many times you came across a great idea or a solution to a problem while you were in the shower? How many times did you come across a cool concept while walking around the local park? Relax and let your mind wander off; you’d be surprised at the power of your imagination.
Reenergizes the mind and body
When you take short breaks, you give yourself a chance to gather back your energy. That’s why you feel refreshed and invigorated after you take a nap. The energy you regain helps improve your well-being and productivity. You’ll feel more positive and ready to take on the world.
Thus, take every chance to take a break when you feel tired. You can even do it on your office chair. Just recline, close your eyes for a while, and feel your vitality come back to you.
Lets you see the bigger picture
When you’re busy at work, you tend to concentrate on the details of a complicated task. As such, you tend to lose sight of the bigger, more strategic view. Stand up (yes, you can even relax while standing up if you’re using a sit-and-stand system), take a break, and step back. This allows you to re-examine your priorities and the ultimate goal of tasks and projects. You’ll have a better view of where you are on your project, or if you’re on track.
This is quite important for supervisors, managers, and other higher-ups as they need to keep their focus on strategic goals. That’s why they need to effectively delegate specific tasks to achieve these goals to other team members.
Strengthens camaraderie and friendship
Having lunch outs and short breaks together with your colleagues should be on your to-do list. These social breaks strengthen bonds and contribute to a positive and happy work environment. During these breaks, you get to talk about each other’s hobbies, passions, families, and personal issues. You get to know each other deeply as real people than just being workmates. You can whip out your gaming mice and keyboards and play video games.
Bonding during relaxing breaks helps create true relationships and lasting friendships.
Don’t take work breaks for granted. They’re important for your physical health, level of motivation, level of positivity, well-being, and productivity. Taking them is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign that you’ll be leveling up when you return to your workstation.