How often do you take a break?
How often do you tell yourself this is my time? How often do you say no when someone asks you to do something that was not in your calendar? There is a lot of power in saying no to things, but that is for a later stage - what we will discuss at this point is the power of taking breaks, the power of hitting the pause button.
Life is like playing a video game, believe it or not. Similar to when you are playing a video game there are times where you need a bathroom break and you hit the pause button, there are times when you get hungry and you need a snack break or you just happen to be really tired of the game level that you are on and you need that break - well so is regular life.
You need a break.
For those that do not indulge in the button smashing of Playstation or Microsoft's Xbox, then here is a similar analogy; when you are reading a book, novel or manual, there are times when you need to refill your cup of tea or coffee because that next chapter just seems to be so juicy and what would go better with it, if not your favourite drink and well, the snack and health breaks were a little self-elaborating, if not - oops! But the point that I am trying to make here is that everyone needs to hit the pause button from time to time - it is good for you. In the first piece of this series I mentioned the necessity of just starting, putting something down and initiating your effort. In this chapter we are looking at taking a moment to step away from that effort to breath - we should, no, we must.
Take time to enjoy living, enjoy the work that you do, the workspace that you have, the people that you work with. Take a moment to yourself and do the things that make you happy. Another reference to a previous piece - there will be a lot of these by the way; was that you need to reward yourself and you should do so by eating your favourite foods, listening to your favourite type of music, getting yourself a club membership or something of the sort but basically do you. In the words of Wiz Khalifa, “Work hard, play hard, work hard, play hard” reward yourself after putting in the effort; let it be, a long term project, a presentation, an event, you name it. Just do you. Do you for a little while.
Part of taking a break is understanding that when you leave work it's better for you to leave your work at work. A decade ago, and honestly a decade ago this was so much easier for the majority of the populous, as there were less mobile phones, less internet and applications that connect people together and to their work. When employees use to leave work, they left work to be with the outside world, it was harder for people to call you and ask you to send out an updated version of the report, it was harder to access work emails off your work computer - remember those big old things?
It was more difficult for people to whatsapp you, remember when whatsapp did not exist? Anyway, before I get into a rant on how technology has made the work-life balance harder, I would like to bring back our focus on knowing when to focus on other aspects of life.
Yes, work is important, it is important to earn a living, but it is also important to live. I personally make an effort not to focus on my work phone after I leave the office and start using my personal phone more - I start with a call to my loving girlfriend, check on close friends on whatsapp, spend time with my loving sister, eat till I am content and get ready for bed. Lastly let us talk about the weekends. If you are not preoccupied on the weekend with some more work hustle, then make sure that you use this time make some more time for you. I repeat, do you boo boo.