Knowledge workers, how to take truly restful breaks?

3857 2018-08-11 00:09

Why taking breaks?

  • Growth = Pressure + Taking Rests If people take too much pressure but too less rests, then they will burn out. If people take too many rests but too little pressure, then they cannot grow. The high performer should properly assign pressure and rests, in order to achieve high-speed yet sustainable growth.

What does “truly restful” mean?

The most treasurable resources of a knowledge worker are willpower and power of attention. And truly restful breaks should recover these resources.

How to take truly restful breaks?

To recover willpower and power of attention, guiding principles are

  1. Fully switch off. Stay away from the Internet or anything that consumes willpower and attention.
  2. Take short breaks early and often.
  3. Get out of the office. Staff who did any work-related activities at lunch were rated as more fatigued by their colleagues at the end of the day.

Restful breaks vs Unrestful breaks

  1. Restful breaks: relaxation, take a nap, take a walk, social, etc.
  2. Unrestful breaks: eat something, cognition (read the news, check emails, play video games, watch videos, etc.)

Systematic solution

  • Short-term

    1. Being unfocused and get back to default mode network
      1. Take a walk/run outdoor.
      2. Return to nature.
      3. positive constructive daydreaming (PCD)
    2. Pretend to be someone else to encourage myself.
    3. Chat with friends.
    4. Drink a cup of coffee and take a nap immediately for 25 mins.
  • Mid-term

    1. Taking a few days off to recharge and no work at all.
  • Long-term

    1. meditation.
    2. sleep well. Good sleep makes skills and knowledge “grow” in the brain.

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