Recess – (noun) temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.
Some adults are five-year-olds in disguise and they absolutely need recess, but do the rest of us fairly normal middle agers need a break? YES.
Baby boomers are born workaholics. (I’m dating myself now – don’t tell) We were taught early on the no pain no gain thing, and that you don’t get anywhere in life unless you put the time in, push through the pain to achieve the goal. I’m not poo pooing hard work at all, I am saying that at some point your brain, and you become grossly inefficient after only a couple hours.
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Take my world. I do a lot of writing, thinking about strategies, meeting with clients and my brain has a hard time “shutting off”. I am far more efficient if I take a break every hour or so and do something “else”. In the warmer months, I go play in the dirt – I weed flowers, plant flowers – harvest some veggies. Being outside in the sunshine clears my brain. I also go for runs in the nicer weather – I’m not into bundling up and running in 4 degree CT winter weather.
When the weather isn’t so promising, I’ll take a break and cook or my delve into my latest hobby- painting. I’m no Monet but it sooths my soul and I really enjoy it. The point is I’m doing something that isn’t work related – I’m taking a Cindy recess from my crazy work schedule. You know what – it works. Now that I stopped feeling guilty about taking a break, I am far more efficient.
I used to sit and stare at my laptop screen waiting for the words to come. Eventually I would “take a break” on Facebook or Twitter only to feel not satisfied because it was just wasted time that I wasn’t really enjoying, then I felt guilty AND I still didn’t get my work done. Now I do something that brings me joy and I look forward to it. I tell myself I’ll write for an hour –then I get a 15 or 20-minute break. If I’m going for a run – I allow myself an hour.
Life is so much better with recesses. I know every company can’t afford to give their team recess –especially manufacturing type settings or call centers. But you can get creative – have something fun in break rooms, put in a gym or a reading room. Someplace where employees can get away for a bit during their scheduled break time. Trust me, the results will be Amazing!
For all you crazy entrepreneurs who like me, tend to always be “working” – find your inner Monet, put on your running shoes or go play in the dirt. Give your brain a break – it will thank you over and over again.
Here’s to being a 5 year old in an adult body!