Wednesday, 28 February 2018

26. Taking breaks at work: how important is it?

You have to admit that throughout the whole blog, the blog posts have been encouraging hard work, dedication, focus, efficiency in both studies and work. What about taking a breather from all of that to refresh and rejuvenate?

The importance of taking breaks is actually not hidden at all. We get lunch breaks during school and tertiary. Even at work - there are tea breaks and lunch hour. The unfortunate thing, which I’ve witnessed both at tertiary and at the workplace, is that I’d find people doing work during their breaks: students perhaps doing admin things like photocopying or printing out notes; and employees trying to get done with the workload that is more than enough for one person within the limited working hours.

My concern, particularly when breaks are disregarded in the workplace, is that one gets overworked and ends up making mistakes. We are not machines but humans.

Let’s look into the purpose of breaks:
Breaks, the word being quite self-explanatory, are basically a breather from work - taking time off working, time off using our brains. Now, I’m not saying breaks mean taking time off doing one thing to do something else - no. The key words are “breather”, “relaxation”.

I’m very much guilty of not taking breaks myself. I recall when I was at university: I’d spend half of my lunch hour pre-reading or post-reading a topic on a lecture, because…well, to minimize the amount of work I had planned for myself regarding my studies.  Pre-reading and post-reading were homework I had added for succeeding in my academics. Even while I was working at the previous job, I would eat for the first 20 - 30 minutes, then I’d find myself working on this blog for instance. One time, I even planned a vlog - writing down the words I’d say on the vlog during tea break and making the vlog during lunch hour. Now, where’s the break in that?

Don’t we get concerned of being worn out? Burned out? Aren’t we afraid that we’d not be working at our best potential, at best performance when we deprive ourselves of a break - the rest that our brains and bodies need? How efficient are we when we don’t take the necessary breaks, or take breaks for as long as their duration: be it an hour lunch or 15-minute tea break? Is it perhaps different for different people? Are you fine with a 30-minute break from work during the day? Or perhaps need no tea breaks and just an hour lunch?

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Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

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