When did you have your latest great idea? Was it during a team meeting? Was it when you worked hard to finish your project in time? Or, was it in the shower?
The Relaxed Brain
You have probably experienced this before. When you are stuck in a difficult problem and you try to solve it really hard, sometimes it helps to step back and to take a break. Take a walk, go for a run, meditate or have some good night sleep. When you get back to your problem then, the solution might be much clearer.
There are two aspects here. First, a relaxed brain is more powerful than an exhausted one and second, your brain does not stop working, it is active even when you sleep. And thus – to be a bit unscientific – your brain solves problems for you, while you can relax.
To-Do: Take a Break
When you have a hard problem, try to take a break. Sometimes we are so mentally and emotionally involved in a problem that the best thing we can do is indeed to take a break. Then, with some distance, things might look different and the solution might be clearer.
Taking a break sometimes feels like doing nothing productive. So, it feels like wasted time. This is not always true. Of course, if you only relax, take breaks and do nothing productive this is indeed a waste of (life) time. However, if you have a good balance, breaks will surely help you to be more productive and thus also help you with your goals and life goals.
Take your car. If you drive your car continuously day and night, that might bring you closer towards your goal but after a certain time you will just stop and run out of gas. Is taking your car to the gas station or to the regular maintenance wasted time? It does not bring you closer towards your goal, however, these procedures are just necessary for going on.
Ideas For Short Breaks
Here come some ideas for short breaks.
- A walk in the nature
- Listening to music
- Listen to music
- Getting a coffee
- Shower or take a bath
If you plan your goals and tasks it is a good idea to plan for some slack, that means for some extra time as well as for some brakes.
By the way, think time, time to review or reflect is helpful too, but this is not what we mean by really taking a break.
Take (No) Action
Especially, if we are overwhelmed we feel the urge to do something immediately. However, while action usually is a good thing, sometimes it is better to step back and to take a break. When you then approach the situation again it might look much better.
Today, our call to action is to take no action. Take a break instead.