The Importance Of Taking A Break by Mark Wager

The Importance Of Taking A Break by Mark Wager

The Importance Of Taking A Break

By Mark Wager 

Here is the traditional recipe for success and it’s a story that you would have heard many times over. Work hard, work every hour you can, outwork everyone else and you will be rewarded for your efforts, but is this actually the best way to achieve success or is there another way, maybe just maybe you are working too hard and the true secret of success actually involves you taking the foot of the peddle and taking a break. Let me explain to you in this weeks article why taking a break may be the best way for you to succeed.

It’s a very easy trap to fall into. When you do well at work your Boss usually rewards you with more work and more responsibility and if you manage to do the extra work  then you get even more work and the spiral continues, with more success comes more work. To make matters worse, what most people do in order to manage the increasing workload is to put in more hours and before you realise it a 40 hours a week job has turned into a 60+ hours a week job.  More hours at work means less hours at home which leads to increased levels of stress, poor mental and physical health and strained relationships which all then leads to a detrimental impact on your work. This doesn’t sound like success to me. So what should people do?

Taking a break is good for business.  

Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company is one of history’s most influential businessmen. He was a pioneer of innovative thinking and developed many techniques in order to improve productively. In 1914, after many years of research, Henry Ford took the step of cutting the length of his worker’s shifts to eight hours a day while increasing their pay at the same time. At the time this was a radical idea and he was widely criticised for making this decision, yet over the next five years Henry Ford saw productivity dramatically increase and soon many other companies followed suit, which lead to the traditional 40 hours a week schedule that the majority of companies now try to stick to. Just over a century later, the business world is still reaping the rewards of Henry Ford’s thinking with many businesses looking at reducing hours still further.

Taking a break will result in fewer mistakes.

The more we work the more tired we get and when we are tired the more likely we are to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a natural part of work, yet when we make too many mistakes there’s a cost. It could be a missed contract or the loss of a good client. Mistakes have a negative impact on our work, our business and even our career. In professions where any mistake could result in severe consequences such as airline pilots, there has been extensive research on the impact that working long hours has on an individual’s error rate which is why these industries have such strict rules about the number of errors a person can make in their work. It may seem a sensible idea to work longer hours but it’s just a false economy if your extra effort produces more mistakes. 

Taking a break will improve your productivity. 

This may sound like a contradiction but if you want to improve your productivity then you need to work less rather than more but with more efficiency. This efficiency comes with resting in between long hours of work. It’s easy to consider someone who works less hours as being lazy when in fact they may well be efficient and the work they produce in less hours is greater than others do in more hours. It was reported that Stephen King the prolific author who has sold more than 350 million copies of various books usually works no more than four hours at a time. Now I’m not suggesting that everyone only works four hours but we do need to challenge the idea of whether working longer is better and focus more on being productive during what time we have. Be aware of Parkinson’s law which is “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

Taking a break will make you more innovative. 

The human mind has an incredible ability to normalise it’s surroundings. What was once noticeable becomes taken for granted  after a while. An example, if you live near an airport you find it difficult to sleep because of the noise of the planes flying over but after a while you stop noticing them and it only comes to your attention when a guest mentions the planes. This ability to normalise our surroundings is useful in many circumstances. It can also hinder innovation because you fail to see what is obvious for someone who is new to your business. All companies are seeking that next great idea, a way to make yourself more competitive. So  taking a break from work will reenergise your thoughts and allow you to see your business in a different light when you return.

The recipe for success is not about the number of hours you work instead it’s about the quality of work you are able to produce and you can only produce quality work when you are mentally and physically operating at your optimal best. So make sure you take a break from work because a successful career is not a marathon instead it’s a series of sprints. 

🌟 Transform Your Team’s Potential! 🌟

Are you a leader struggling to turn poor performers into star performers? My name is Mark Wager, and I specialise in helping leaders like you unlock the true potential of their teams.

With years of experience in leadership coaching, I’ve developed proven strategies to elevate performance and drive success. To kickstart this transformative journey, I’m offering a FREE 30-minute strategy session tailored to your specific needs.

During our session, we’ll:

Identify key areas for improvement

Develop actionable strategies

Set clear, achievable goals

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your leadership and transform your team’s performance. Schedule your free strategy session today!

Let’s turn your team into star performers!

Posted: Friday 12 July 2024

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