When it comes to setting goals and pursuing them, it’s important that you don’t get burned out. In other words, you need to take regularly scheduled breaks. Taking breaks allows you to hit refresh and start new again. It allows you to take a break from the action and recharge your battery. It stops you from living in a routine. Sometimes fully pursuing what you want in life can be exhausting, but if you take periodic breaks you allow yourself to rest, recover, and stay motivated psychologically. Let me further explain.
1. Breaks can spark creativity:
Personally, I’ve run into the wall on numerous occasions. I have those periods of time where the well runs dry so to say. I feel like I have no ideas, no motivation, and can’t even think. It’s during these times that I put down the pen and paper or step away from the keyboard and I go for a walk, a drive, or I plan on taking the weekend off. For some miraculous and unexplainable reason, during these break periods I get a flood of creative ideas. Whenever I’m not thinking about it, the creative floodgates open and I have to scurry to my phone or notebook to write them all down before they’re gone forever. You might come back with fresh new ideas that you didn’t have before because you were thinking too much.
2. Breaks help you from getting overwhelmed:
Give yourself these periodic vacations or allowances so you don’t get overwhelmed or stressed out. You may say to yourself, “I have so much to do. I don’t know how I’m going to do it.” Come on now, you can take one day off. The world won’t stop turning. Call in sick, call a babysitter, schedule a PTO (paid time off) day, or plan for the weekend. There is no end of the world situation. Do what you need to do to allow yourself some time to relax.
3. Breaks are a reward for your hard work:
Reward yourself with relaxation and say to yourself, “I earned this.” Maybe you take one day a week or you take a few weeks off. It, like a vacation, becomes something to look forward to. You know that at the end of the week you’ll be able to just enjoy your time off and not have to worry about the work load.
4. Breaks help you from getting stuck in routines:
We all have our routines that we follow. Some are good for productivity and others are bad. Think about what you do on a daily basis. Stop doing whatever you’ve been doing on a recurring basis for a short period of time. Breaking your routine can be something as simple as taking an alternative route to work or an alternative route home. It’s exciting and new and something that you haven’t done before. Whatever you’ve been doing, try something new for a day or a weekend to break your current habits and see how it feels.
5. Breaks are a chance for mental and physical rejuvenation:
Use the break as a chance to rejuvenate and recoup, not a chance to walk away. If you’ve been working out all week, take a weekend off and let your body heal up. If you’ve been writing like your life depends on it, take a day to stop and read other people’s work. Better yet, take the day to stay away from any written material whatsoever.
When it comes to taking time off, the key is to come back and not allow the time off to become permanent. Too often people take a break and then they don’t come back ever again. They enjoy the time off so much that it’s become their new hobby. How many people do you know that said they were taking a session or a class or a practice off and then you never seen or heard from them again? Plenty. We all know those people. In fact, we’ve all been those people from time to time. There are things we’ve all put aside that we’d rather be doing. Hint: Let’s start pursuing those things again.
Also, make sure you’ve made some progress prior to taking your break. Don’t start a new workout routine and take a week off after day one. Make sure that there has been some consistency in your effort towards your goal before you reward yourself with chocolate chip cookie dough. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how good cookie dough is. Thank you.
As I was saying, schedule some time where you just enjoy nothing at all. It’s your day, week, or even month, if you need it, to do with what you please. You’ve worked hard all week long, but this weekend you’re going to sleep in. You’re going to put your phone or your laptop aside (or turn it off) and enjoy some pizza and good old quality Netflix (Orange is the New Black Season 3 comes out on June 12). If you didn’t know about that last one, you’re welcome.