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1 min read

Take a Break

Seriously. Now, I know we just came through the holidays so you may be thinking, “I just had a break.” I get it. I thoroughly enjoyed having some time to completely unplug from normal responsibilities. What I’m talking about is giving yourself a break as a matter of habit. Maybe even a new habit for a new year. Why? Because you need a break because your body needs a break because your brain needs a break. Why? Because if you’ve been operating like many leaders we know, your lack of taking a break from work has actually made you less productive, not more.

It’s been called the Productivity Paradox. In short, science has demonstrated that when humans sacrifice activities that we deem unessential so we can we use that time to devote more hours to work – activities like sleep, exercise, eating healthy, or even time with family and friends – we actually end up getting less done simply because our bodies and brains are not operating at peak capacity. Oh, sure, you’ve read the headlines of some power executive that claims to regularly sleep only four hours per night and credits their success to giving up sleep. Maybe. What they are also giving up that they are not talking about is their health and the opportunity for their brain to operate at maximum performance. For most people, not only are we less productive when we give up those supposed non-essentials, but we are also causing damage to things we need to live, not a life, but a long, fulfilling life. Things like a healthy body, a healthy brain, and, vitally important to a rewarding life: healthy relationships.

I sincerely hope that you make it a priority in the new year to take some time off; and by "off" I mean taking a full break from work and all of its accoutrements like email. Give yourself a full weekend. A full evening. Spend that time resting and engaging in opportunities to laugh with family and friends. I also hope that this is permanent change and that you don’t return to the sacrifice in a few weeks as things pick up. Instead, we encourage you to make a decision to regularly commit to those so-called non-essentials which, in reality, are vital.

Take a break.

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