The Importance of Taking Breaks From Work

As much as you want to make your mark at your job by working 24/7, knowing when to step back and take a breather helps you more than you think.
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The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
Editorial Intern, gradsingapore
The Importance of Taking Breaks From Work

“If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

It’s a pretty phrase, but it’s not as true as you’d think. Even if you’re working at your dream job, knowing when to take breaks is crucial if you want to keep up your productivity. That in and of itself should be enough reason for you to apply for your leave and take advantage of your paid time off, right?

However, while we’d all jump at the opportunity to take a vacation when offered normally, the reality is that more often than not, you might not feel comfortable taking the time off you need.

Reasons for reluctance

Sometimes, it can be a bit difficult to bring yourself to take leave in the first place. For new employees, especially those at their first job, it can be tempting to avoid taking extended periods off work, only indulging in short breaks to display your commitment to the company.

Alternatively, some may be unwilling to take an extended break due to feeling guilt or fear, be it dreading the bigger backlog upon their return, or not wanting to leave their team to work by themselves (or even worrying that they won’t be able to handle things in your absence). You might even struggle to even find a supposed ‘good’ time for a vacation when it seems like work never seems to end.

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Why you should take a break

But in truth, while being dedicated can be impressive, your boss will be more likely to notice your declining work productivity should you keep working without pause. After all, you can’t keep going at full speed forever if you don’t stop to rest.

And it’s not the only thing that will hurt you – your mental and physical health could take a big hit as well. However much you love your job, the last thing you’ll want is to burn out completely.

Stepping away from the physical and mental demands of your job, even if you genuinely love it, will help you come back with a more recharged and clearer state of mind as well. When we try to keep focusing on something for too long, our imagination tends to lock down and it can be harder to think of new, creative solutions. By taking a step back, you’ll be able to give yourself a chance to see the bigger picture and look at it from a different angle.

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Working from home? It’s still important

Moreover, with remote working put in place with the pandemic, taking a day off to rest might not seem like a priority when you’re already at home. Plus, without the routine of clocking in and out of the office, the line between work and leisure time has started to blur, resulting in an increased difficulty in unplugging from work matters once office hours are up.

In addition, even if your surroundings have changed, the stresses of work remain the same, perhaps even more so. As such, it’s more crucial than ever to not only set up concrete days for breaks, but to also put in measures to ensure that you stay away from any work-related matters to actually rest!

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When it comes to your professional career, treat it like a marathon, not a sprint – maintaining a good work/life balance is crucial if you want to stay productive and content at work. When done right, a good break can lead to fresh perspectives, new creative insights and reduced stress levels when you get back. So put your guilt aside and plan out your next break – your body and mind will thank you for it!