November 24, 2015

Why You Need To Take Breaks

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As business owners, we find ourselves constantly needing more time. It seems as if there are never enough hours in the day to finish what we set out to do. And on top of that, we have countless responsibilities outside of client deliverables that we need to attend to. As an owner of a New York-based Outsourced CFO services company, we know how busy it can get. Especially in a buzzing city.

Yet, while we constantly feel crunched for time, we need to remember the importance of taking breaks. Although you may think you’re being more productive by powering through the entire day without leaving your desk, you’re actually less effective than you would be if you stepped away for a bit. Intrigued? Check out our reasons why it’s important to give your brain a break (if only for a little).

Better focus yields better results

Apparently our brains are not meant to focus on tasks for long periods of time. Science even says so. Working for extended durations will lower your efficiency, productivity, and concentration levels. So when you start to feel lethargic, that’s your body telling you it’s time to take a break.

Trying to power through will do more harm than good. In short, we get to a point where our productivity levels peak and then, after a certain amount of time, these levels start to decline. So take a step back from your work to re-energize your mind. Even 5 minutes will do the trick. By turning your attention towards a different task (something completely unrelated to work), you allow your brain the time it needs to re-center attention. Better focus will yield better results.

Heightened creativity

Science also shows that taking breaks improves and boosts creativity. When we are able to step away from an assignment, we can look at it more objectively. Plus, you may come across an idea or an article during your break that can help you solve a problem, find a new solution, or encourage different ways of thinking.

There are certain activities that are better at getting our creative juices flowing, such as taking a walk or talking to your coworkers. But even just stepping away from your computer, getting a drink, or reading an article will help stimulate your mind in ways that wouldn’t be possible if you hadn’t gotten up from your desk.

Improved health

A sedentary lifestyle puts us at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and several other medical conditions that can be avoided, or at least reduced, by getting up and moving. Here are a few ideas: try taking a lap around the office to get the blood flowing. This is the easiest way to reduce your risk. If you want to go above and beyond, but don’t think you have time to leave the office, you could even perform a few exercises at your desk.

But if you can spare more time, take a 20-30 minute walk—spend your lunch break walking to and from your favorite lunch spot. You’ll boost your metabolism and improve your physical (and mental) health. Trust us, your body will thank you in the long run.


Are you prepared to handle the biggest challenges faced by business owners?

Don’t get blindsided by problems that other talented leaders have already solved.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Hector Lozada, Professor of Economics at Seton Hall to survey business owners ranging from start-up founders to seasoned CEOs. What came out of it is a cheat sheet for sidestepping the roadblocks, bottlenecks, and challenges that plague your colleagues and competitors.

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