If you are too busy to read this post, you probably should, it will do you good.
If you want something done, ask a busy person. I used to think this was a good thing as this was me, but now I see that it might not have been such a good thing for me, as in order to get the unplanned ‘thing’ done
- I might have agreed to it without allocating the correct amount of time (if any time at all!),
- checked if I wanted to do it first, and/or
- bunged it in with all the other things I was doing.
If you recognise yourself in this, the problem with having the ability to get many things done, is that you are a limited resource. You have a set amount of hours in your day, ‘x’ amount of things to do; and there is only one of you.
Just because you have 24 hours in your day, that doesn’t mean you should fill all 24 with things you need to do!
Eight of those hours should be for sleep, time spent preparing for sleep, then you have to factor in travel time, eating, picking up kids from school, work … and breaks!
In order to ensure that you stay productive, efficient and look after your health, you need to schedule breaks.
Some very busy people are super intelligent, doing really important jobs and declare their busyness as a status or some sort of badge, but really, unless you consciously thought about it, and carried out a plan to be that busy, you are probably at the mercy of your brain, which might not be the highly tuned, efficient machine you believe it to be.
You could be running a business empire, or a stay at home mum or dad, who is constantly busy trying to be productive or efficient as possible, but if you don’t intervene in your brain somehow, it will learn that being busy is your default and keep you running about.
Even when there are times you could sit still, your brain will want you to get up and be busy! You can read more about your brain and automatic processes here.
You need to recharge, to relax, and for many people this is a difficult thing to do, so in this post I want to look at the things that may stop you from taking breaks.
Things that get in the way of breaks
I’m too busy to take a break
This always reminds of the phrase that sleep is for wimps. Not that long ago the internet was flooded with how to survive on 4 hours sleep and now thankfully that is starting to change, to show how important sleep is, but it takes a while for this to filter through to our brain.
I feel guilty / lazy / (insert your own ) if I take a break
This could be, what we call a ‘core belief’ that you hold about yourself. Core beliefs are unhelpful beliefs that you hold about yourself (that you are not necessarily aware of it, and most of them are not true). These beliefs can include,
I’m lazy, not good enough, not smart enough, not likeable.
For the purpose of this article, think of these beliefs as a very unhelpful voice in your head. You want to take it break, and it tells you, you are lazy!
You can read more about how your brain learns this negative self talk here.
Watch out for time wasters that masquerade as breaks
For me this was Facebook. Is it really a break? Did you consciously decide to take a break from what you were doing and relax by scrolling Facebook? Probably not! You can find yourself scrolling mindlessly through social media, that not only takes you away from what you were doing, but doesn’t really give you a break either. Half way down this page, I have spoken about how this happens and what to do about it.
These things (time wasters) in themselves take up part of your day that could be used for breaks, going for a walk, or doing some of the things that are keeping you busy!
What are the benefits of taking breaks?
- You get time to recharge your batteries
- You start to learn to place more importance on yourself
- You start to break down unhelpful thought processes that serve to keep you busy
- You get more time
- And, paradoxically, you will get more done, as you are no longer running on empty!