Happy Monday, my loves! Yes, you did read the title correctly. In this installment of Motivational Monday, I’m going to convince you to take a break. “But breaks aren’t productive!” — That’s what you were thinking, right? Well, I disagree. There is such a thing as too much active productivity. Trust me, I do it all the time.
Sometimes you just need to take a step away, in order to let it all sink in.
This past week, I was super productive. I accomplished a ton between Monday and Thursday. It was great! And then I realized how stressed I was making myself and I started to get burnt out. I needed to take a break.
I don’t know if you noticed (I hope you did :P) but I took time away from social media for the weekend. I needed to disconnect. My creative juices weren’t flowing and I knew that it was time to take a step back instead of forcing out low-quality posts.
And it worked!
I’m sitting here tonight (Sunday night) writing this out – hopefully to be completed in time to publish tomorrow. Some would call this procrastination, but I think it is just good timing.
Taking breaks has helped me in other aspects of my life as well. For example: school. When I was a freshman in college, I thought pulling all-nighters was the best way to study for a test. While I did well on the tests, I didn’t retain the information throughout the semester and would have to pull several all-nighters to prepare for the final. In subsequent years, I learned that if I studied for small increments throughout the week and took breaks for important things, like sleep, I retained the information much longer. I was still studying for the same amount of time as I did pulling an all-nighter but I was spreading it out, taking breaks, and letting it process.
The same goes for music. When I am struggling with a new technique or song memorization, I find that taking a step away for a day or two miraculously fixes the problem. I don’t know how to accurately explain it, but when I take a break and let things sit for a while – they somehow work the next time. A lot of that probably has to do with the nonchalant approach I have the next time I sing – I think “Well, let’s just see what happens this time” and then it works.
Sometimes you just have to let things be and trust that you know what you are doing. If you can do that, things will work out.
So, I repeat:
Taking breaks can be productive.
Granted, you have to put in the work beforehand in order for the break to be useful. I am not advocating laying around watching Netflix all day, every day without ever doing anything productive. Although, I’ll admit, that does sound quite lovely. I am saying that taking a short break every couple of hours during the workday – or taking an occasional day to rest and relax– is a good use of your time.
Put in the work and then take a step back – let it sit and allow yourself to recharge.
We are all human. We all get tired. We all get burnt out. We all need breaks. It is okay. Embrace it. View your break as a recharging session. It’s a productive use of your time.
If you are like me and feel guilty when you aren’t being productive, do something semi-productive, yet still restful, on your break. You could watch a documentary while laying on the couch in pajamas. Go somewhere new – have new experiences to inspire your work. Read a book – expand your vocabulary and imagination. Do whatever you want! Just make sure you are enjoying yourself.
Recharge. Refuel your passion. Take a break. And then get back on the productivity train.
Have a fantastic week!
If you need extra motivation this week, make sure to check out the other installments of Motivational Monday: