It could seem a little counterintuitive, but taking time away from work actually helps us work better. In fact, by not taking breaks, we open ourselves up to a slew of serious threats – for our mind, body, and spirit. Construction can be a dangerous line of work. Breaks are not just for your own benefit, but the benefit of everyone on your team and worksite.

Your mind needs breaks.

Our brains need time to relax in order to stay motivated, productive, and creative. Like any muscle, downtime is just as significant as busy time if you want to increase your agility and capacity. If you start to feel unable to make a decision or second-guess your every thought or action, your mind tells you it is overloaded or exhausted.

Time away from the task at hand – especially when spent moving – improves our memory and increases our neural connections. In simple terms? Take a break if you are searching for motivation.

Your body needs breaks.

A typical job today does not look like it did twenty years ago. Many people spend their entire workday sitting in front of a computer, even in the construction industry. If you are on a worksite, the job can still be relatively monotonous.

Our bodies were not designed to spend so much time stagnant. Doing so increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, obesity, and so much more. If you care about your life expectancy, it is critical that you get up and move around.

Your spirit needs breaks.

Burnout results in turnover. When you feel bored at work or begin to experience lower confidence levels, you might start to wonder whether or not you are valued in your current position. This should come as no surprise since our mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. We spend so much time on the job that it is imperative that this time feels meaningful.

That said, you need to be using your breaks wisely. Spending half an hour scrolling through your phone or complaining with your team members is not a productive break. Instead, actively focus on your goals or an activity that brings you satisfaction and/or peace.

Conscious Restoration

Many people have been conditioned to believe that the one who works through lunch will get the promotion. Or that you need to stay late if anyone recognizes you for what you are worth. This is simply not true, and it is a misconception that can have serious health risks. Instead of spending more time working, try to make your time more productive. You will get more done – and produce higher quality work as a result, not to mention a happier self.


Photo by Miguel Perales on Unsplash