Do You Take Enough Breaks?

Even though Christmas and New Year have just finished, I don’t think I really took my mind off work for very long.  I think when you run your own business you never get any time off, you’re always thinking about what needs to be done and how you can achieve it around your many other responsibilities.

Yesterday I had an appointment at the doctor’s (my first trip to a French doctor since moving here in October).  I don’t know what it was, but when I got home I had a coffee with my Mum and decided I would give work a break until after lunch.  So lunchtime came and went, I did a few chores around the house and my boyfriend went off for the afternoon (he’s renovating a farm) and I stood on the doorstep and realised how much time I spend sitting at my desk and how much of the lovely weather I hadn’t seen in the last few weeks.

Hadn’t I moved to France for a different lifestyle?  Set-up my own business so I could dictate my own working hours?

So I jumped on my bike and went for an impromptu ride along the river, I gave myself a target of getting 2 miles and then turning round and coming back so in total I would have done 4 miles.  It was a little hard going as I’d not ridden my bike for a while, but I made it!  Not happy with just a half an hour bike ride, I decided I would take a bit more of a break and catch up on some English TV I had to watch.

I went back to work at 4.15pm and was far more productive, not feeling sluggish and tired.  It worked wonders!  While watching the TV I decided that I would factor in some breaks each day, maybe not anything as energetic as a 4 mile bike ride, but even a 15 minute walk outside would help.

I guess the point of this blog post is to remind you that taking a break from work, even if you are busy is likely to improve your creativity and your productiveness.  I found this great Ezine article called 7 Reasons to Take Breaks at Work – what great reasons to take a break!

So, on my new whiteboard (see my blog post Help Family and Friends Understand you ARE Working!) I am going to note down on my to-do list each day half an hour of ‘ME’ time, whether that’s going for a bike ride, a walk to the shop, or just reading a non work related book.

Do you take breaks?

I would be really interested to hear how many of you take regular breaks from work, what you do and how it helps?  If you want to take more breaks at work but you are just too busy, then why not look at outsourcing to a virtual assistant, my blog post 20 Reasons for Hiring a Virtual Assistant will give you some great reasons why you should.


  1. I think we must be so much in tune, as I wrote a blog post last night with a similar theme! Of course it was motivated by your reports of a bike ride and a conversation we’d had on the way to the Dr’s.

    Bon continuation ;-)

  2. Charlie Damonsing says:

    Great post! I had a coaching session on this very subject this morning, and also wrote a post about it earlier this week. You are right, being self employed makes it so much harder to switch off/take a break. Yet invariably you get better ideas, work with more purpose on your return etc. So find out whatever it is that you need to do to remind yourself to take a break more often.

    Also loved the photo from your bike ride. Where are you in France?

  3. Totally agree Jo, it’s too easy to get wrapped up in running your business and not take any time out – I’m as guilty as anyone! Had to pick up some prints for a client this morning, so I decided to spend a little longer away from the desk and chill in a coffee shop … not for long, but I’m home now and raring to go! :)

    • That’s great Ian, it’s a bit chilly here today so going to stay in but will do something else non-work related instead! :)

  4. I just posted a similar blog–I do take breaks. Even though I work from home, I’ve often had my legs fall asleep from sitting for too long & thinking “I’ll get up & stretch as soon as I finish this one more thing…” 10 ‘things’ later, I’d still be sitting there. So now when I have to take a phone call, I get up & move around while I’m talking. I also work out & go for walks.

    Great post!

  5. Oh boy Jo do I hear what you are saying!
    I came back from annual leave (from my FT day job) and thought, when did I actually rest? I spent a large portion of my leave building my business further. Don’t get me wrong, I love my business and I am now reaping the rewards but I definitely made an error in not taking a short, complete break.
    Probably the most important thing is to incorporate short breaks as you have suggested to prevent burn out. Afterall if the previous Australian Prime Minister can go for a one hour walk everyday, I definitely can take a break too. I’m not running a country so there are no excuses.
    Glad to have found you through the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.
    Cheers, Caylie

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