The importance of balance in the work and rest relationship

One of the positive parts of the social distance imposed by the new coronavirus was being able to rethink the way we lived our lives. From now on, depending on how each person sees it, there can be more or less quality of life.

Therefore, it is essential to find a balance in the relationship between work and rest. In this article, see how to balance the demands of remote work with breaks for relaxation. You will see that breaks are not a waste of time, but something essential for the execution of activities to be even more effective!

The new work routine

We are going through a period full of preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19. Everything indicates that, at least as long as there is no vaccine, avoiding agglomerations will remain our greatest weapon.

Thus, the home became the main structure to maintain social distance — and the home office, a reality for more and more people. But to function properly, work routine must be created.

What was it like before, in companies?

In companies, coffee breaks were small moments of relaxation. Lunch break was the perfect time to relax with colleagues and get back on the gas to face the second part of the day.

How has it been now, at the home office?

At home, there is a risk of using breaks to advance household chores, such as making the bed, putting clothes in the washing machine, cleaning the dishes, etc. More than that, so as not to waste time, many eat lunch in front of the computer or eat anything when they can.

How should the new work routine be?

If you’ve been mixing work and household chores, you need to change. At first, it may seem like you are increasing productivity, but don’t be fooled.

In addition to compromising the quality of deliveries, overload leads to increased stress and, consequently, to a series of problems — including health. Keeping your immunity up to date, as you know, is also crucial in preventing COVID-19!

The importance of balance between work and rest

Rest periods positively impact the new home office routine. Among the most relevant benefits, check out 5 aspects that deserve to be highlighted!

1. Awaken creativity

Spending a lot of time in the same activity reduces the ability to think, due to fatigue. During the break, you regain your mood, reorganize your ideas and can find new perspectives, as well as gain creative insights and much more!

2. Increase focus

A rested mind is naturally more focused and efficient. But when there’s an inconvenience that’s taking your attention, it’s worth taking a break to sort it out and get back to work without any distractions.

3. Improve memory

The importance of mental rest (or pure and simple idleness) is empirically proven. The brain, contrary to what you might think, at first, does not reduce its activity when the person is resting.

These periods revitalize the capacity for attention, motivation and the formation of stable memories. Furthermore, it is proven that inertia is necessary to process and absorb the information and knowledge acquired throughout the day.

4. Calm the tempers

Do you know those disagreements that, analyzed some time later, seem meaningless? They are often the fault of fatigue. Resting helps to calm tempers and release tension, avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

5. Avoid extreme tiredness

At the same time that exhaustion leads to creative blocks, physical symptoms may appear, such as:

  • tension nodules in the neck;
  • headache and back pain;
  • eye fatigue;
  • repetitive strain injuries, among others.

Not to mention the psychological disorders characteristic of modern life, such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, physical and mental exhaustion also needs to be prevented.

Regular breaks serve to relax the mind and body, allowing you to return to activities with much more energy. If the pause is active, even better!

Ways to organize to take breaks from work

Working around the clock is counterproductive. No matter how tight the deadlines are, believe me: the physical and mental strain doesn’t pay.

On the other hand, by taking short breaks (from 5 to 15 minutes), if possible, every two hours, you optimize your productivity and even make better decisions. Therefore, put the following tips into practice:

  • if necessary, set alarms to remind you of breaks (for a cup of coffee or just a drink of water);
  • from time to time, arrange brief chats with a co-worker, as long as it’s not over the computer;
  • if you’ve set up a corner for physical activity, use it to stretch and breathe deeply;
  • if there are more people working at home, agree to exchange brief massage sessions (such as shiatsu);
  • play with your pet and, in a short time, it will remind you of the breaks;
  • have a light and healthy snack (a fruit, for example), to replenish your energy without compromising your fitness;
  • go out on the porch and get some sun, or at least some fresh air, to refresh your spirits;
  • allow yourself a post-lunch nap, 20 to 30 minutes is enough to improve memory and increase concentration.

But beware: control the length of breaks. Taking a break to unwind is quite different from going to another activity in the middle of the day.

With common sense, it is possible to meet goals within office hours, without having to extend the journey. In this way, it is even possible to take advantage of the time at home to carry out other activities. For example:

  • spend more time with the family;
  • learn new things;
  • take an old dream off the paper;
  • put into practice the tips for organizing the home, etc.

Understand why, to keep productivity high, breaks are essential? So, stop trying to occupy yourself 100% of the time and balance the relationship between work and rest. It is often during the break that the insight to solve a problem arises. Unlike the good old creative idleness, tiredness can be what has prevented you from seeing that solution you are looking for so much!