Time out? Or Burn out?

Yes! There is always work to be done. Regardless, everyone needs a time out. If you don’t take time out, you are going to burn out. Burn out was a term coined in the 70’s meaning - ‘a state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by one’s professional life.”

Over-working would make some sense if it produced greater results but there is a large body of research that says its doesn’t. Quite the opposite. One study done through Boston University found no evidence that the overworked employee was more productive. As a matter of fact a 2008 University of Illinois study found that the brain’s attentional resources drop after a long period of focusing on a single task, decreasing focus and hindering performance. If you are in sales, a position that requires strong interpersonal communication skills, stress and exhaustion can make all these things more difficult.

Overwork also leads to health issues – impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory and heart disease. This is bad news for the employers who bears the cost of absenteeism, turnover and health insurance.

Here are some things you can do to Burn-out proof your life…

Take a 10-minute break

Take breaks. It will boost your focus and your productivity. The break does not need to be a lengthy vacation on a remote island [although that is not a bad idea] It can be as simple as a 10-minute break every 90 minutes.

Medical studies show we move between higher and lower states of alertness in 90-minute cycles throughout the day. To leverage those cycles, schedule a 10-minute break every 90 minutes. During those 10 minutes step away from the screen. Take a walk: Get up and move. It will clear your mind, restore your energy and get your blood flowing. Or Take a social break: Have a cup of coffee and a chat with a friend at the office. [Or if you are working from home, with your significant other.]

Take a Nap

It is also a good idea to schedule a nap. Napping has been shown to improve learning and memory, boost mental alertness, and increase creativity and productivity, among other physical and mental health benefits. A 20-30-minute nap is a short, effective energy-booster, according to sleep experts.

Take a Breath

Do some yoga, meditation or deep breathing. These mindfulness breaks can boost your creativity as they bring down your stress hormones.

Time out or burn out. The choice is yours.