Working in tech, there’s so many directions you’re probably pulled in and issues that need resolution. When do you have time for you?
In an rapidly moving world, it has become harder and harder for employees to take breaks. According to NPR, only one in five employees eat lunch away from their desk. Emails, meetings, conference calls, and standing meetings rule your day, and I didn’t even mention actually being productive handling your tasks.
Does anyone find it ironic we spend so much time trying to streamline our work, but the average full-time employee has reported working 47 hours per week? We’re hustling backwards but think we’re going with the flow. How do you fit time in the time you need for yourself?
You just have to do it.
You’re entitled to breaks, so take them! There are so many reasons why taking breaks is beneficial for your workday. Make it a point to indulge in yourself. Here are a few reasons why it’s so important for those who work in tech to take breaks.
1. It keeps you focused.
Like drinking water, taking a break gives you a much-needed rest from the task you’re handling at the moment. You ever have these moments of inspiration and then go, go, go, only to find yourself lagging an hour later and ultimately hate the work you’ve put out? Your work performance has slowed down tremendously, leaving room for error, doubt, and anything else the ego puts in front of you. When you break, you’re actually turning off and switching your task back on, giving your brain time to recalibrate and take in other stimuli it needs to refuel your inspiration.
2. Helps you to retain information.
According to Fast Company, our brains have two switches: “focused” and “diffused.” When we’re in focused, we’re learning and working on new things. When we’re in diffused mode, our mind is wandering. We’re probably daydreaming or doing anything else other than what we’re supposed to be doing. But here’s the a-ha: we actually need time to daydream, because that’s the time we tend to figure things out, when we aren’t so focused for hours at a time. How often have you come to an awesome conclusion when you’re in the shower or driving your regular route? Time to daydream is absolutely necessary.
3. It gives your eyes a rest.
Being in front of computer screens all day isn’t good for you, and you know it. Eye strain isn’t cool, and it will be detrimental to you in the long run. Breaks give your eyes time to adjust to other things.
And here are some helpful ways for you take a break:
Use the pomodoro technique.
Download a timer on your phone or computer which allows you to work for 25 minutes at a time. When the timer goes off, another timer will start with five minutes for break time. Get up from your desk, move around, and don’t look at your phone until your timer goes off again!
Go for a walk.
Getting up to move and and take in fresh air has proven to be beneficial for every employee. It allows our blood to flow properly (since you’ve probably been sitting down for hours at a time) and gets oxygen up to our brain.
Schedule your own breaks.
Let’s face it, no one is going to force you to take a break if they haven’t done so already. Fit in fifteen-minute breaks where you can, preferably one before you take lunch and one after.
Drink some tea!
There are loads of benefits to drinking tea, some we will get into at a later date, but making yourself tea gives you a chance to be mindful and in the moment of what you’re doing. Forget the k-cups! Get out a tea bag and engross yourself in the act.