Do you need a break? Many of us do, but the real question is, “Will you take time for one?” Those of us alive today are living at a faster pace than any human beings who’ve ever walked the planet. Advertisers tell us our tech gadgets will save us time, but as quickly as we “save” time, we raise expectations about how much we can accomplish with the time we have left. It’s like being on a treadmill and slowly but consistently increasing the speed. Sure, you’re running faster. You’re getting it done. But at some point, you just want to get off the darn treadmill. Here are a few signs it’s time to take a break.
1.You are busy, but not productive.
You know what I’m talking about. You’re doing stuff, just not the most important stuff. You’re moving, but not progressing. If that’s you, take a break. Refocus. Restart.
2.You are irritable, even when nothing particularly stressful is happening.
If your attitude at work is always sour no matter what, there’s something simmering beneath the surface. Anger – including the quiet, passive-aggressive type – is usually a sign that a boundary has been crossed. Resentment emerges when we don’t speak up, ask for help or make a change.
3.You just accomplished a big goal.
Research shows that our energy is depleted after the accomplishment of a big goal. We are more effective at future goals when we give our minds and bodies a chance to recover so that our energy is replenished for the next big task at hand. Just finished a major project? Celebrate. Relax. Rejuvenate. Then move on to the next big thing.
4.Your body hurts.
Your body will give you warning signs. Don’t ignore them. Chronic back or neck pain, headaches and fatigue are just a few of the ways your body is trying to talk to you. Listen. If you don’t, there could be consequences soon.
5.You’re dreaming about work.
If you are dreaming about projects, deadlines and that pesky co-worker, it’s a definite sign that some down time is overdue.
6.You haven’t had a break in a while.
Even if you don’t have any of the five signs that came before this one, you still need regular breaks. If you haven’t taken one recently, get busy! Or rather, do the opposite. Ten minutes every couple of hours a day of down time every week, and a vacation or personal days for fun time every few months will make you far more productive than working nonstop. And you’ll be happier, too.
My challenge to you this week:
Give yourself a break. Schedule it right now.
What keeps you from slowing down? What is within your control to change? Leave your comments below and let me know what will you do to remind yourself to take a regular break!