Taking a Break Can Make You More Productive


Taking a Break Can Make You More Productive

As a small business owner, it is easy to understand that there is always something else to do. An extensive list of to-dos accumulates as quickly as it disappears.

Mostly because we are passionate about growing, moving forward and making our business a success. This can be a recipe for hitting a wall, believe me I know. With six children, a publishing press and an academy to juggle I always have something to do! However, the one business essential I have come to value is the benefit of taking a proper break.

When I am spreading myself too thin I have recognised that I become overwhelmed and nothing gets done, or if it is, it’s not done to the best of my ability. During these times, I do the opposite of what my rational mind is telling me to do, which is to get those boxes ticked and on top of things. I stop, switch off the computer, reschedule the meeting or put something on hold until I am rebalanced. When I make that decision, I free myself for a time which allows clarity and a renewed drive to find me.

Familiarise yourself with when you need this to happen for you, we are all different. I can’t tell you when that is for you, I can only share when it is for me, but I identify it as being when I start to feel overwhelmed.

Last week was a busy one for me, I had a big book launch, deadlines to meet and a personal issue to deal with. On Friday, I had the choice of staying in my office and ticking boxes or hopping on the train to the city to have lunch with some friends. After a huge book launch I was both exhilarated and tired but really needed to shift my focus from work, so I chose the latter. The results of this were amazing. Not only did I nourish my need for connecting with friends, when I got back to my office I was way more productive.

Here is some advice and science-backed facts behind taking a break and productivity:

  • Taking a break gifts us renewed focus as brains can numb with constant focused stimulation on one thing
  • Just as our bodies need time away from physical endurance to recuperate, they also require time out from mental work too.
  • Creative fuel serves as a great boost to productivity. Something as simple as a call to a friend, a walk along a beach or in nature takes us out of the office and into nature where we can be rejuvenated. Nature is a magnificent healer.
  • Moving for a few minutes every hour gets the blood flowing in the body and more oxygen to the brain. It’s a no-brainer; this has got to increase productivity!
  • Keep hydrated. Stopping to drink water or have a boosting cup of tea, filled with lots of antioxidants is sure to provide a boost.
  • Removing yourself from a stressful situation provides clarity and a shift in focus which may help with a much-needed breakthrough and efficiency.

So, the next time you drop your head in your hands or feel overwhelmed. Stop and take the break you need. It may be a walk, a cup of tea or it might be something bigger like going on a retreat with like-minded people or a getaway with friends.

Whatever it may be, become mindful that your gut will let you know when you need it, so stop pushing with your brain and act to prevent hitting that wall.

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