In almost ten years of blogging at conradzero.com, I’ve had several interviews, but I’ve never had a guest post. Not that I’m adverse to sharing, especially when someone can relate wisdom on a topic that I know nothing about… in this case, the importance of taking a break. So for the first time in the history of this blog, I’m going to do just that.
For today’s “How To Write More Betterly” blog post, I’m turning the keyboard over to Allison Morris, who will tell you all about breaking things while I step outside to enjoy a refreshing break while mixing December Minneapolis Air with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey…
The Importance of Taking A Break
Guest Post by Allison Morris
Most writers have a day job. If you’re lucky enough that your day job is writing, you still have to deal with tasks, scheduling, and getting things done. Even if you write about vampires and slaying demons all day, work can be overwhelming. And it might just be time for you to take a break.
Are you the type of person that doesn’t take a lunch? You’re not alone. Only one in three American workers claim to enjoy a midday meal, while most either skip their lunch break altogether or simply eat at their desks. While you might not always have time for an hour break from your writing or work, microbreaks — that is, short breaks lasting from 30 seconds to five minutes — can improve your mental acuity in astounding ways. A 15 second “screen break” can cut your fatigue in half, and a five minute break from typing every hour can eliminate wrist, elbow, and arm pain.
And it’s not just physical breaks that can make a difference. If there’s any way for you to catch a nap during the work day, just 40 minutes of dozing off will improve your alertness by over 34%. Short naps throughout the day (or the more hardcore practice of polyphasic sleep) are better for your body and mind than logging an extra hour in the mornings.
If you’re not the type to schedule frequent sanity and stretching breaks, try to take at least 6 minutes for every 80 you work. Stand and stretch, rest your eyes, and check your Facebook — study shows that employees are 10% more efficient when they can check social media regularly. If you’re a writer, consider penning a short verse about a worthy subject during your breaks. And if you can, take a short walk. Nothing busts writer’s block faster than a quick jaunt around a building or block. Check out the full graphic below to learn more about the importance of taking breaks: