It sounds almost counter-intuitive – more breaks, more motivation – but this is true and backed by solid science. In fact, one common excuse I hear when trying to tell people to take breaks is ‘I’m too busy’. But that’s the whole point! You need to take breaks to get less busy. Because with well timed breaks, you work better, faster and more efficiently. Plus, you will feel much less stressed.
Here are four important reasons why taking breaks is good for your physical and mental health.
#1 Breaks keeps us focused.
Although some people would like to think so; humans are not machines. We are not wired to work on a singular task for hours on ends without a break for a simple reason – we lose focus. We get bored and we get tired.
Taking short and evenly spaced breaks allow us to stave off boredom and fatigue; keeping us refreshed and ready to go again.
#2 You brain needs to recharge
Our brain is arguably the most vital organ yet we pay so little attention to it. Scientists have shown that it consumes an incredible amount of energy and, therefore, needs the space and the rest to let it ‘cool down’. Going further along this analogy, we can understand energy as finite. But, the key here is that this energy is constantly renewable so it needs to be replenished every so often.
Keeping your brain and your mental shape in tip top condition would naturally contribute to you being more focused.
#3 We become smarter during breaks
Your IQ might not exactly go up when you take breaks but this downtime is critical in helping the brain make connections and retain information. Research have actually shown that the brain goes into hyper-activity when it wanders or day dreams. These ‘behind the scene’ processes are crucial for learning and for doing better at what you do.
When you’re deep in focus for long periods of time, the brain actually doesn’t have the space nor energy to do all the background things it needs.
#4 You gain fresh perspectives
This is especially helpful when you’re stuck on an issue or a problem. Instead of thinking directly about it, take a break and let your mind wander. It will subconsciously work at putting the pieces together. Being too stressed out and wanting the solution immediately is counter productive. Einstein for example, is widely credited as having come up with the theory of relativity after a bout of day dreaming!
Please share this around so that people know that taking breaks is more than ok – it is good for you!