Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is take a break.
Our fast-paced culture glamorizes the hustle and grind, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners. Taking a break might seem counterintuitive when you’re overwhelmed with work. But science has shown that focusing on a single task for sustained periods can actually diminish your performance and productivity.
Whether you’re troubleshooting a problem that doesn’t want to be solved, logging long hours on an important project, or just feeling mentally tired, taking a break instead of pushing through actually improves attention, focus, and creativity.
Why You Should Give Your Brain a Break
When you’re working on solving that problem or completing that project, your “task-positive network,” or TPN, keeps you focused on the job at hand. When you disengage to take a break, your brain switches to your “default mode network,” or DMN, which is active when you’re resting or daydreaming.
Your DMN also plays a role in episodic memory, or memories of previous experiences, and can access memories and details that your task-focused brain can’t. When you take a break, you change gears and open a mental doorway to information, ideas, and perspectives that aren’t available when your TPN is engaged. Even though you aren’t consciously working on that particular problem or task, your DMN is drawing connections and innovating possibilities.
Why Breaks Are Good For Business
When you don’t have enough hours in the day as it is, taking even a few short breaks can feel like an overwhelming idea. The good news is that even microbreaks of ten minutes or less have been shown to help decrease fatigue and improve well-being.
While longer breaks are essential for more enhanced performance, starting small can help you overcome your internal objections and integrate this new habit.
Remember, taking a break doesn’t mean you’re lazy or not dedicated enough. Breaks actually make you more productive and creative, improve memory and concentration, reduce stress and decision fatigue, boost energy and motivation, and increase the odds of unlocking that brilliant breakthrough.
How to Actually Take a Break
It might sound funny, but when you’re used to constantly working, figuring out what to do with a break beyond grabbing another cup of coffee and scrolling social media can be more challenging than expected.
Getting out into nature and going for a walk are two great ways to take a break and reset, but if you can’t do that, here are a few accessible options to help you enjoy a little downtime.
- Tackle a crossword or test your Wordle skills
- Name that tune with Heardle
- Write a silly poem or a short story
- Draw, sketch, or doodle
- Have a private dance party for one
- Read a book
- Take a power nap
Make the Clock Work For You, Not Against You
If you’re still struggling with the belief that you don’t have enough time to start taking breaks, I want you to know that you aren’t alone.
I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners who make six and seven figures, and many of them had a hard time creating space to take time off work too.
I know that managing your time so that you can focus on your top priorities and do your best work is damn near impossible when you’re juggling the day-to-day and constantly rushing to put out fires.
But you can’t keep working yourself to exhaustion. It’s not sustainable–and it’s not necessary.
In my twelve-week program, the Foundations Framework, I teach business owners how to understand and implement the best practices you need to make your company more sustainable and more successful.
On this entrepreneurial adventure, we’ll dedicate four weeks to each of the three pillars of business — Time, Money, and Leadership. During the first month, we’ll clarify the work you really need (and want!) to be doing, identify what needs to happen so you can delegate everything else on your plate, and restructure your schedule so that you’re doing the most important work when you feel most focused and energized.
Then we’ll uncover the story behind your numbers, implement sustainable financial practices to grow your business and your profit margin, and elevate your leadership to improve your communication skills and the way you show up in your business.
Blending written exercises, somatic practices, strategic business actions, and group coaching, the Foundations Framework gives you the tools and resources you need to lay a sustainable foundation for a successful future.
Are you ready to make the clock work for you, not against you?
The adventure begins on Monday, February 27.