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5 Good Reasons to Take a Break at Work

Posted: January 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Health and Fitness | No Comments »

Every once in a while, you need to be reminded to take a break at work. Freelancers and entrepreneurs have one thing in common: They tend to be workaholics. Working hard to perfect your craft and making sure that you’re earning enough money to pay your bills is a good thing. You’ll do yourself, your family and your clients a favor, though, if you take breaks.  You can experience great benefits as a result. Here are five good reasons to stop working and take a break:

Reason #1 – Produce High Quality Work

Looking at your work with “fresh eyes” can make all the difference in landing a gig, outbidding competitors and delivering quality work to clients. When you take a break at work, your brain functions better and you think clearer.  You may think that you’re maximizing your time by not taking breaks, but what might be happening is that you’re wasting more time. For example, it’s easy to zone out while you’re working on a design for long hours. Your brain is ready to take a break even if you’re unwilling. Rather than waste that time, and bill your clients for it, do what your mind wants you to do. Take a short break.  You will produce higher quality work as a result.

Reason #2 – Relieve Stress

A simple way to relieve stress is to take a break at work. If you don’t remove yourself from the work, at least mentally if not physically, then the stress will pile up like your workload. Find things to do that you enjoy that can be done in a short amount of time.  Checking your email or engaging in more online activities is not really considered a break when you’re working on web design or graphics work. Take a real break. Play with your kids, your pets, go and check the mail, or play your favorite song. It will help to diffuse some of the stress you’re experiencing. The truth is, stress does impact your profitability because it impacts the quality of work you produce. If nothing else, think of it as part of being a successful freelancer or entrepreneur.

Reason #3 – Shorten the Work Day

Your work hours may remain the same when you take a break at work, but it’s going to feel shorter.  Your body and your mind can feel the difference when you work for long hours without a break. Short spurts of 10 or 15 minute breaks refresh the body and you won’t feel the mental or physical pressure as much. However, you don’t want to overdo your breaks and end up with too little time to complete all of your work. One break every three or four hours is often enough to get you through a work day.

Reason # 4 – Take Time to Eat

Don’t forget to take a lunch break, and there may be times when you need a snack as well. Working while hungry is difficult and can be counterproductive. A good reason to take a break at work is to eat a healthy snack. You should avoid high sugars if possible; you don’t want to slow down your work by having to metabolize all the sugar you ate.

Reason # 5 – Have More Energy for Other Things

You should do all that you can to minimize the habit of ending work every day exhausted. It can take a toll on your family and loved ones, your personal activities and other business pursuits. You’ll feel less pain from a heavy workload when you take breaks than if you don’t. You’ll have that much more energy to accomplish all of your other duties and responsibilities.

Don’t expect a life makeover when you take a break at work, but it will have a great impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. Your business will improve, and the results will pay dividends.

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