• Sunny Yuan

The Importance of Taking Breaks When Working or Studying


Written by Maya Rao


Introduction

It’s been a crazy long day cram-packed with activities and you finally sit down at your desk to get started working on the gazillion amount of assignments that you have from school. As the hours pass, you grow restless and agitated from staring at the variables on your algebra homework, and not to mention the English essay that you still haven’t figured out what to write for and also the history exam tomorrow that you have to study for...You keep on grinding uneasily through the overload of assignments by one thought: ’I can not afford to take a break right now’. But can you?


Everyone knows that you should try to keep distractions to a minimum while you work or study, but conversely, it is also very important for you to intentionally have some distractions from your work at times. By this, I mean that taking breaks periodically to “distract” yourself from what you are working on actually helps improve your overall performance in your work and is also crucial to your wellbeing.


How Taking Breaks Improves Your Performance:

Taking breaks actually boosts your overall productivity as well as the quality of your work. The human brain cannot maintain the concentration for you to work incessantly. Thus, long hours of overworking lead to decreased energy, focus, and creativity. This sets up a challenge to your productivity and overall performance in your work. However, just by taking a short break, your mind and your concentration can recover and recharge from all that mental exhaustion. You are then refreshed and able to be more productive when you start working again. You may even be more creative, especially if you had been stuck in a mental block from working previously.


How Taking Breaks is Beneficial to Your Wellbeing

Taking breaks when working is also essential to your mental and physical wellbeing as overworking can certainly take a toll in those areas. Breaks are seen to have the capability of easing or preventing the stress, anxiety, and burnout that arise from strenuous working. Furthermore, not being mindful about taking breaks when working can lead you to adapt an imbalanced lifestyle and form bad habits like neglecting areas of your wellbeing such as sleep and exercise.


Some Healthy and Important Ways to Take Breaks

  • going for a short walk

  • talking to other people

  • going outside/changing the environment you are under

  • drinking some water

  • stretching

  • meditation

  • decluttering your environment

  • having a healthy snack

Conclusion

So the next time during this school year that you find yourself in a high stress situation, remember that a short break may be exactly what you need, for the significant benefits of using that small amount of time will likely outweigh the cost of losing it.


@hocomonumental




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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2021/03/taking-a-break-doesnt-always-mean-unplugging

https://thewellbeingthesis.org.uk/foundations-for-success/importance-of-taking-breaks-and-having-other-interests/

https://thewellbeingthesis.org.uk/foundations-for-success/finding-a-balance-even-under-pressure/

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/news/2020/feb/5-benefits-taking-breaks

https://medium.com/mind-cafe/the-science-of-taking-breaks-at-work-to-help-boost-your-productivity-ec3e1f47c818

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-downtime-is-essential-for-brain-health/


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