Let's Talk—The Importance of Doing Absolutely Nothing and Taking a Break!
I took 2 days off from writing last weekend and rested my brain a little bit, utilizing this time to attend to some backlogged work and reply to over 500 pending comments on my posts. It wasn't exactly break that I wanted, but I used the time to reflect back on these past 8 weeks that I worked without a day off.
It was a much needed time off from producing fresh content on Steemit, and it helped me refresh my mind and gave me some time to introspect on my life.
Learning without reflection is a waste, reflection without learning is dangerous—Confucius
It's nearly impossible to do nothing when we decide to take a break. Infact many of us and the various people in our lives often consider doing nothing as being irresponsible or wasting our time away. Infact, if we did a lot less and reflect a bit more on our activities, we are likely to do better on the important activities that demand our complete attention in our lives.
Living a life without an uninterrupted period of break to assess our thoughts and reflect back on our lives can stunt our growth; mental and physical. Our mind needs a break and being distracted all the time with an endless to-do list can make it nearly impossible to break the habit and get yourself some space to unwind, relax and breathe.
Sometimes doing nothing and can positively help us in improving our mental health, enhancing our creativity and fueling our imagination when we are ready to come back to work. Remember, we aren't bots that can work non-stop. As human beings we need to take a break regularly. It's impossible to work continuously at the pace of the internet.
There are days when I wake up thinking I don't need a break because I love what I'm doing even if I'm exhausted, assuming that by doing nothing I'm wasting my time. Yesterday, I had a conversation with @aishwarya about her post where she shared the following image:
As soon as I read it, I realized that she was right!
Sometimes, we live in a delusion where we force ourselves to remain busy all the time. We live under the impression that it is the correct thing to do. But we're often missing out on valuable time that could have been spent otherwise doing absolutely nothing. Especially considering sometimes the effort we put in under stress is neither productive nor smart, and it could be something that's moving us towards a psychological burnout.
In this era of information technology there are numerous ways to keep yourself busy or entertained. We are often multi-tasking and catching up on things, worried that we may get left behind. In a corporate setting work-addicts are preferred and many managers ensure their subordinates never leave the desk for a break or when they do, start counting the minutes. But they forget, we aren't machines, only human!
The element of control exerted makes it impossible get a breather from work to ensure productivity remains high! Remember, there's more to life than pushing yourselves unnecessarily.
A friend on my facebook wrote this earlier today:
Doing nothing is important, it's not important to everyone, not important for long, but still it is important. So many folks would be doing something instead of nothing.
Sometimes, if you have a problem staring in your face or a situation that has you bogged down, try to take yourself out of the situation. Do nothing, relax your mind and you'll find the answer or solutions to your problems upon your return. Less is always more!
It's a waste of energy and effort if you continue thinking that your tasks will add up and you will have more to catch up with. A refreshed mind may ensure you have far less to deal with when you come back to addressing the task at hand.
Importance of Taking a Break
- Breaks allow to remain focused and we are unlikely to get bored with our work if we don't push our brains to work extended hours on the same task.
- You can use the time off to introspect your goals and reevaluate how you want to go about it. It's a good idea to take a break atleast once every hour.
- If you are having an information overload, a break will help you absorb the information better. This way you are likely to improve your efficiency than reduce it.
- Managers who encourage employees to take a break are likely to see better quality of work from their team.
There's no need to feel guilty about taking a break. A quick walk, listening to music or a quick chat with a friend can help ease the pressure off you to perform at 100%. When I worked in corporate, I made it a point to take a 5 minute break every 60-90 minutes. This allowed me to focus better. Most of the time my manager would join us too and this helped us bond better and perform to the best of our abilities.
As a solopreneur now with a work-from-home setup, the added flexibility and freedom allows me to take as many breaks as I need to ensure my creative output and motivational levels are high. I used to feel guilty about taking breaks but a few people drilled it into me that if I don't take breaks I'm going to burn out. There was a time when I did burn out from working too much and taking fewer breaks and that taught me some important life lessons!
What Can I Do To Take a Break?
- I listen to music as it helps me focus when I work. I'm always listening to music that helps me remain calm even when I'm not working.
- I take a break and lie down in the afternoon and daydream my goals and reevaluate them. Most of the time I end up generating some great ideas that I end up writing about after a 15 min-30min break thinking about my plans for the future.
- A powernap is always helpful. During my advertising days I used to take a power nap when working late nights and that used to boost my energy levels.
- Exercise is a great way to boost your stamina and reducing your stress.
- I call a couple of close friends daily or regularly and stay in touch, talk about life and fun things and that I find is a great way to relax. Talk to your friends, family or co-workers.
- I get out of the house and look at the garden sometimes, we get a few colorful birds and a cat or two is always roaming around my house. Nature I find is a great mind-muscle relaxant!
- For those of you who enjoy Yoga or meditation, do it. If not try some!
- I used to love riding motorcycles and that was a great de-stresser for me. Currently it isn't possible so I take the car out on a drive everyday and put on my favorite music and that soothes my mind.
- If you have a hobby pursue it, if not get started on anything. You could simply start doodling stuff to get things off your mind.
As you can see there are a number of ways to take a break and re-focus energies on anything that's truly important to you. There's no saying what will happen in the next minute so ensure you can live a life comfortably, while being at peace with yourself and your profession. It's not easy to balance things but neither is it impossible!
I'd love to read in the comments what you think about taking a break and how you go about it? I'm sure you will have a few tips which may be very valuable!
I'll close this post with something I came across on old social media as I was writing this article:
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