This article was first published on 2 August 2013 and was last updated on 14 June 2016.
It can be difficult to justify taking time off when you’re running your own business - there’s always something that you could be working on. The good news is, there’s lots of evidence that says taking a break will make you more productive in the long run. Here are four reasons why you should think about pencilling in that time off.
Your decision quality degrades after a lot of hard work
Ever find that you do your best work in the morning, but by the end of the day you’re running out of ideas? That could be because your brain isn’t getting the time off it needs to maintain its decision-making quality. This article from Fast Company explains how strenuous thinking depletes our cognitive ability and energy over time, and if we don’t stop to recharge, we may end up making impulsive decisions, or just losing productivity overall.
Small breaks can yield big benefits
Chaining yourself to your desk until you get through your workload may actually work against your productivity - this article makes the case that human brains work cyclically - through a cycle called the ultradian rhythm - and can actually only focus for 90 to 120 minutes before needing a break to recharge. So making the small change of scheduling a few short breaks away from your desk could help you get through that pile of work.
Letting your mind wander can improve your creativity
Achieving focus is always important, but researchers have found that giving yourself time to let your mind wander is just as important when it comes to creative thinking. So before you overschedule yourself to use every second of the day, think about setting aside some guilt-free time to let your mind wander.
Taking a longer break could boost productivity and performance
While taking short breaks during the day can be beneficial, a recent study has revealed that taking longer periods of time off work may also have a positive impact on both productivity and performance. Simply planning a holiday could even be good for your health, as the anticipation of taking a break can reduce stress levels and improve happiness at work.
Do you have another tip for why you need to take a break from your business? Leave a comment or hit us up on twitter and let us know.
This blog post was first published on 2 August 2013 and was last updated on 17 June 2015.