We live in a culture that believes busyness equals success. But truthfully, the more we go, the more exhausted we feel – and you deserve to thrive, not just survive! Even those of us who work from home know that burnout is real. Instead of pushing harder and struggling through the exhaustion, I challenge you to do the opposite: TAKE A BREAK!
While doing nothing may sound counterproductive, you might be surprised just how much a break can do for performance. Just like an athlete needs off days to recoup and refuel, your brain needs some downtime to refocus and reset. As a commercial photographer, I always know I need a break when my creativity starts slowing down.
How to Be More Productive with Rest
Benefits of Rest
- Boost creativity
- Mental clarity & brain function
- Sharper focus
- Increased motivation
- Improved mood & sense of wellbeing
- Decreased anxiety
- Improved physical health & Immunity
How to Take a Break
It might sound silly, but some of us have been going so long and so hard that we don’t know how to take a break. We talk about self-care all the time, but self-care is so much more than taking a trip to the spa.
It’s important to prioritize breaks regularly to boost productivity, and more importantly, keep you feeling well.
And no, scrolling through social media doesn’t count. 😉 I’m talking about really giving yourself deep, rejuvenating rest. Learn how to be more productive with breaks. Try these tips:
Set a Break Timer
Whether you’re stuck in an office, working from home, or running around to meetings, you need time to shift gears. Set timers throughout the day to remind you to step aside from your tasks and take short brain breaks. Even if you’re in the middle of a project, taking ten minutes to grab a healthy snack and some water can give you the boost you need to refresh and get back to work with a clear mind.
Let Mother Nature work her healing magic. It’s amazing how some fresh air and greenery can lift your mood and get those creative juices flowing. Sometimes a change in scenery is all you need to get out of a rut. If you’re in the city, head up to the roof or walk to a nearby park. Working from home? Take your dog for a walk in the neighborhood. If you have time, make a weekend getaway to a state or national park to escape from the noise.
There’s a reason this one is on every “how to destress” list. It works. But we’re terrible at it. In case you need to see it one more time: take a break from technology. Blue light causes stimulation, and constantly checking emails and social media makes your head spin. If you can, completely unplug a couple of hours before bed to clear your mind and promote a more natural circadian rhythm for better sleep. Blue light may inhibit melatonin production, so if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep, try cutting out the screen time in the evenings.
Source: Harvard Health
Get Coffee with a Friend
Chatting with a good friend is a great way to talk through things and relax – a little laughter goes a long way by soothing tension and relieving stress. Humans thrive from real (not virtual) connections, so don’t neglect spending time with friends. It’s good for your health! Oftentimes, less is more when learning how to be more productive. Something as simple as talking to a friend may be all you need.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Exercise is a big one for me – it’s my favorite way to recharge. I know it may be hard to get to the gym or a class or even just out the door with your running shoes, but prioritizing exercise is SO worth the effort. Getting your blood pumping and endorphins going will do wonders for your creativity and overall productivity. If you have trouble sitting still or disconnecting, take a break with physical activity instead to help reset your mind.
We could all use a reminder to rest. Learning how to be productive isn’t always about pushing harder but giving your brain some love — after all, it works hard for you!
Know someone who could use a break? Don’t forget to share this post.
Lindsay is a Los Angeles-based food, product, and commercial photographer. She specializes in Still Product & Food Photography, Lifestyle & Portrait Photography, Stop Motion, and Food Styling. Connect with her HERE for product marketing!