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How do you define “a break”?

Interesting that when I checked with Mr. Google regarding “ what taking a break means,” all the references on page one were about taking a “dating” break. This was a reminder of the impact of our language. On page two there were a few references to how taking a break improves productivity, helps one stay on schedule and the importance of taking a lunch break.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAs I work with clients, one of the most difficult things for many is to slow down; taking a break at first is almost out of the question.  I hear frequently, “I don’t have enough time as it is.  How can I take a break?”  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and believing we’ll get different results. Yet we continue to drive ahead, no rest of the weary, thinking tomorrow will be different; we’ll have more time.

While it seems counterintuitive, breaking from our work (or whatever) most often has a positive impact. Most clients are surprised that taking breaks seem to add time to the day. Often they learn the hard way…no breaks, lunch at the desk, working into the evening. When they finally tried “breaking”, the result was amazing. Time seemed greater; things were completed more easily and with less hassle.

My lesson was with crosswords puzzles; I’m a daily addict. Often I get stuck. Sometimes, lacking awareness, I go over and over the same clues until I am exhausted. I work until I’m absolutely certain I’m out of possibilities at which point I walk away. Often when I return to the puzzle, an answer that was “impossible” is right there.

Moral of the story: Live being fully present, be aware and schedule breaks in your day. A routine including breaks means a more productive and fulfilled life!

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