Careers

The importance of taking a break from work

It is easy to persuade yourself that you do not have any time to take breaks when working on a time-consuming project or while you have much more on your schedule. Display breaks, luncheon breaks, and lengthier breaks have all been implemented to enhance employee happiness and productivity.


Taking regular breaks helps you be more productive


Taking breaks might sound counterintuitive but when it comes to boosting productivity, the best ways to do so. You gain focus and energy after stepping away from your desks. A lunch break can help prevent an unproductive, mid-afternoon slump. Actively creating a schedule of regular breaks will give you a series of deadlines to work towards, which can spur you on to finish a task more quickly.



Breaks help you to process and retain information


Our brains have two functioning modes: ‘focused’, and ‘diffused’. When operating in diffused mode, our brain is more relaxed and in a ‘daydream’ type state. How many times have you stumbled upon a great idea when you’re in the shower? Next time you have a difficult problem to solve, try letting your brain wander and find its own solution, instead of forcing yourself to find the answer.



You’ll be more creative


Never taking a break from tasks at hand actually reduces your ability to be creative. Your cognitive capacity is exhausted and it’s more difficult to get creative compared to if your brain is more rested. Taking a break can give you a fresh perspective on challenging projects. If you’re skipping lunch to continue to push forward in a very intense project, then you’re probably not doing yourself any favours.


Afterall, it’s harder to develop new ideas or solutions when you’ve been looking at the same thing all day. Giving yourself time to rest and recharge – just as an athlete would allow their body to rest after a race or training session. It will energise you for the next task ahead. A lunch break will most certainly help get those creative juices flowing.



Breaks can help you cultivate healthier habits


When you’re busy and stressed, the usual healthy habits – such as eating nutritious meals, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep – can easily fall by the wayside. Taking a proper lunch break gives you time to incorporate these healthy habits into your normal working day, whether that’s making time to prepare a healthy meal (rather than grabbing a store-bought sandwich or ready meal), exercise or meditate.

Taking regular breaks away from your computer or smartphone screen can also help to prevent computer vision syndrome, which commonly includes eye strain and headaches. Medical professionals recommend looking away from your screen every 20 minutes and looking at something around 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

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