How Taking a Break Can Increase Your Productivity
By Alisha Dhillon
I took a bit of time off from writing the last couple of weeks. Not because I’m lazy, but because writing was starting to feel like a chore to me. My schedule’s been pretty busy lately, and writing became something that I was feeling obligated to make time for instead of making me feel excited. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. Writing is my passion but when I’m tired, my only passions are Netflix and sleeping.
That’s why my new motto is “Work hard, rest hard.” Life can get pretty chaotic and in our haste to get things done, we tend to neglect the rest our bodies and minds need. I’m sure you know what it feels like to be rundown and uninspired. I’ve often forgone taking time off due to fear of “losing my momentum”, but taking a break is not a setback - in fact it’s the best way to avoid one. Sometimes your body is so affected by your lack of rest that it responds by getting sick. Being under the weather usually results in a real setback because you’re physically unable to carry out the tasks you need to. But if you take a break instead, you can avoid the setback and return to your work feeling refreshed and inspired!
For a lot of people, including myself, when you commit to too much too soon, you set yourself up to fail and potentially quit. For example, cutting out desserts cold turkey or planning to hit the gym every day even though you haven’t been in months. Those are both commitments I’ve tried and failed to make. Since then, I’ve modified them. I allow myself to indulge in sweets every other day and I make time to exercise every other day. It’s worked much better for me because the way I see it, there’s nothing I can’t commit to doing every other day.
You’ve lived with yourself your whole life so you know exactly what you can handle and what you can’t, so schedule and work accordingly! If it means saying no to covering a coworker’s shift or going to a friend’s party, so be it. Being selfless is wonderful, but life is short and you’re not doing yourself any favors by putting yourself last.
When you’re tired, you’re not motivated, and I’m pretty sure that zero people do their best work when they’re unmotivated. You owe it to yourself and to your dreams to go after your goals with everything you’ve got, so get some rest!