Take A Break.....all work makes no sense

Updated: Sep 1

I am guessing this is something we have all fallen foul of. I have for sure, and as my life seems to be heading to a work from home future, it is something I have to watch. And, what we have been through in this last year has only served to exasperate the situation

Remember when....

I clearly remember when I started work, a break was expected, a lunch break was a given and occasional breaks through the day encouraged. Thinking back, the corner shop where I worked used to close for lunch, and ALL shops were closed on a Sunday! Remember those times?

Well, wind that on....we now have 24/7 shopping and work culture. We are our own worse enemies too. A recent survey by TotalWellness shows that many now eat at their desks or, even worse don't take a break to eat at all during the day. It is the shortsighted belief that by stopping work, for even 30 minutes we are somehow not being productive. We also fear being judged by co-workers and bosses that if we are not chained to our desks for a straight eight hours, we are in someway slacking.

My mind goes to back to the cringe-worthy boss David Brent in an episode of The Office explaining the virtues of laughter in the workplace.Remember it...?

David Brent: unlikely practicioner of the microbreak? (Credit: Alamy)

The COVID effect

COVID has changed everything for everyone. The labour market is expected to change forever post COVID with up to 31% of the UK workforce now working at least two days from home. Whilst other UK companies are offering their previously office based workforce the choice of now working remotely. Taking a look at my days, I sit in a studio, alone, and am working on either producing or hosting shows, researching or recording interviews, graphic design or blogging. There have been days recently where I have not gone any further than the kitchen and not even left home at all. And I tell you what, very quickly, I felt awful and certainly not creative in the slightest. Working and living alone means I have no barometer of time. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I am having to train myself to look at the clock, take break or even head out for a walk.

Making hundreds of decisions every day, from what to write in an email to when to schedule your meetings, eventually leads to decision fatigue. Reach that point and your brain will get so tired of making decisions, you'll start to make the wrong ones out of sheer exhaustion. Take a break before you break!

That short 20 minute break could help you increase attention and focus, become more creative.

Now, take that break!

Often seen as the demon of our times, what I am trying to do now, is force a break in the day. Typically I will walk to the shops to get lunch and the other benefit of that is, I grab my iPhone and AirPods and catch up on the latest podcast that I've downloaded. Honestly, I feel on reflection, the days I do this, I am more creative and achieve more too.

Apple, Air Pods Max
AirPods Max and AirPods Pro

Where tech has fallen over

Apple have just put back, once again, asking their employers to come back to Apple Park full time. The plan originally had been to have them return on a hybrid plan (Monday, Tuesday and Friday in the office each week) which was planned to start in October of this year. But due to the case of rising cases of the virus in Cupertino, this has now been shelved until January 2022.

Although great from a humane point of view, Apple, like other tech giants, have been greatly affected by the lack of 'in-office' interaction. Think of how hard it is to work remotely on the launch of either new software or hardware projects when miles apart. This has resulted in the 2021 delay of planned new projects.

And if you bring that back to your own working day, I am sure you can associate. Good old Teams meetings can get so much done, but sitting round a table, face to face thrashing out details is still hard to beat.

Make that move

So, be it you are working from home or office, be kind to yourself first and foremost. Take that break. Go for a walk, grab some daylight and step away from your desk. Honestly, you'll be amazed the difference it can make.

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