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Every single person is super unique, but we all have one thing in common: a need for rest and recuperation. You may be convinced that you can work and work and work with no breaks. In a world that is so fast-paced, we reward people that are hardcore and refuse to step back or take a deep breath.
Although hard work is great and should be rewarded, it’s also pivotal that you take breaks. You can only work efficiently for so long without resting. The longer you work on something with no break, the more mistakes you will make.
You’ve probably been in a situation where you’ve tried to solve a problem or fix something and the longer you stare at it, the harder it seems to come up with a solution. Contrary to popular belief, that problem will not magically become clear by spending more time staring at it. The best thing to do is put it away and come back to it in a little while. You will most likely find that time away makes the solution easier to figure out—maybe even obvious!
Your brain needs time to work stuff out and process. It is a muscle and should be treated with the same respect and care that you treat the rest of your body. Give it time to relax and put good stuff in so you can get good stuff out. Take working out for example. You can’t do your maximum lifts every single day or you will wear your body out. You have to give your muscles days to do light workouts in order to come back the next day and work hard. You also wouldn’t put the heaviest weights on and expect to be able to lift over and over without feeling completely tired and burnt out. And, after a workout, you have to stretch your muscles to allow the best recovery—basically, you have to take care of yourself.
Even if your company offers unlimited paid time off, it can be hard to take advantage of that. You want to get stuff done and you probably think the harder you work, the more you’ll get done. When you’re tired, your body goes into autopilot and simply plays the part. You may feel like you’re being productive when really, you’re getting as much done as you could.
Your brain needs a change of scenery. That doesn’t mean simply slowing down on work; it means you need to switch up what you’re doing. Find something that you enjoy like reading, playing video games or going for a walk to give your mind a much-needed mini-vacation. When you return to your desk, it will be easier for you to focus on the tasks at hand.
Vacations don’t just mean taking a week off and traveling. Taking 30 minutes or 2 hours every day to focus on something else or rest will help you put your distractions on hold. There is a value in dedicated away time that includes unplugging from your work, your phone and anything that might cause you stress.
You may think that this topic doesn’t pertain to you. But, if you find yourself snapping at people, eating or drinking more or having a hard time sleeping, then you are out of balance and your body is trying to overcompensate for your lack of energy. It’s time to take a vacation, trust us!
You should definitely still take that awesome family vacation in the middle of summer. But, make sure that isn’t your only vacation this year. Take time every single day to do something that will make your brain relaxed and make work more enjoyable. Humans were not created to constantly work. Relax and give your body time to recharge and focus!