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Time For A Break!

Jan 26, 2023

A break is a time to interrupt what you are doing. You get to rest for a period of time, or choose to do something else, until the break is over. Then you resume the work. Why do we need breaks? Isn’t it more time saving if we just do the task straight through without taking breaks?

Why don’t we as human beings just work without taking breaks? Won’t we achieve more?

That idea seems to make sense, but our bodies do not work that way. All work and no break will wear us out. The longer we work without rest, the less efficient we become, and the more likely we make mistakes.

Most of us understand this concept. That is why in most organizations or activities, there are scheduled time for breaks. Schools have recess. Team sports have breaks between sets and time-outs. Most jobs have built-in lunch time.

For some reason, many physicians believe they are exempt, that they can go on the whole day without taking any breaks for rest or for lunch. The only inevitable breaks they take are bathroom breaks – and even that, they would think twice before going.

As a recovering no-break physician, I will offer my former beliefs here. I used to think that I was young and I could be operating like a machine – long hours without rest. I also believed that there was so much work that I could not take a luxurious lunch break. This belief stayed with me for a long time until I understand how important it is to take a break.

Without taking a break, to take your mind off something you are working on, you will get worn out, burned out and break down easily. Not to mention the longer you go without a break, the less efficient you become.

A scheduled break lets you rest your brain. Focus and determination on doing one thing takes energy from you. It is important to rest and shift your brain to think about something else.

A break also serves as a chance to regroup and reset. You get to reflect on what you accomplished so far, and think about what you can do better.

It is important to recharge your body. Physically, you are somewhat drained of your fuel. It is vital to stay hydrated and keep your nutrition by eating. Mentally, focus and thinking about the same thing for a long period of time is very exhausting. Simply by walking away from what you are doing, temporarily, will offer time for your body to recover physically, and your emotions to recover mentally.

Taking a beak allows you to reset your efficiency. When you step away from what you are doing temporarily, your body has a chance to recover from the physical stress caused by that repetitive motion or position. Your mind has a chance to recover from the intense focus on one thing. It will have the opportunity to sharpen itself again.

The break time I am referring to is scheduled break time. The unscheduled break time usually is not very helpful. These unscheduled break times are usually created by you on a fly, because you are avoiding what you are doing. Unscheduled break times may increase the time for completion, decrease efficiency, and increase the chance of making errors.

Having scheduled break times will allow you to feel more refreshed, more energized and more creative. You will be more efficient and use less time to complete the same task had you not taken any breaks.

I invite you to create and schedule breaks during the day, so you can work more efficiently and come up with more creative ideas. You will less likely to be burned out.

Are you ready to stop feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you ready to have more time to do what you want?


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