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How to Know If You Need a Break from Work

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

October 5, 2020

Entrepreneurs commit endless hours to their businesses, but in the process of chasing their dreams and fulfilling them, they tend to forget to take breaks. Dedicating more time to your enterprise will not necessarily increase your productivity, but it could hinder your ability to perform as sharply as possible and think ahead. Even as a business' founder, you need to take a break.

It’s scientifically proven that taking a break can help prevent mental and physical health crises and decision fatigue. Time off can also improve logical reasoning, boost creativity and motivation, and lift your mood and energy levels. You can benefit from the down time to stop, think, sort and balance your life.

What happens when you are continually working on the same task trying to achieve the same output for years? When do you realize that you need a break, and go on work detox to put things into perspective and to get some wiggle room?

Quite often, this realization hits people too late, when they are basically sick and tired of the task at hand. Even your most passionate endeavors and tasks can get mundane when you try to achieve your dream day in and day out. How do you figure these out?

  • Ask yourself if the task at hand is getting monotonous. Are you getting the same joy and gratification from it like you used to, or is it another chore for you?
  • Are you still the sharpest knife in the drawer? This is a very hypothetical and introspective question that you need to ask yourself. Customarily, in a startup environment, the fire burns brightly in the person who is committed the most — the founder. At any given time, if you feel that there are some folks who do a better job than you at the same task, it is wise to take a step back.
  • Are your kids still able to recognize you? This is the question that makes or breaks the bank for many founders. Working for yourself sometimes means your family suffers, and this realization can prompt you to accept the fact that some time off is necessary to recharge not just your business life, but your personal life as well.
  • Are you the same person who started this? Working in a high stress environment tends to shape us in ways that we don’t always realize. You tend to ignore personality changes that other people might be very sensitive to. Times like these make you realize you need to take a break and unwind.

When you accept the fact that taking a break is essential to your well-being, create your own little retreat to get away from the daily grind. Listed below are a few ways to unplug.

Cut Down the Work Hours –

Investing fewer hours in work will boost your productivity rather than draining it. Revisit your work schedule and take time for breaks during the day. It could be taking a walk after lunch, relaxing in the break room, playing a game, chatting with colleagues and friends, taking a nap (if working from home), or wrapping up the day early.

Pick up a Book –

One of the most amazing ways to escape from the monotony of work is by reading a book. It can shift your mind to a space that is more open and relaxing. Reading can be fun, but it also strengthens your ability to focus.

Work out –

A jog, vigorous walk or an intense body workout at the gym can drain out all the negativity. It could do wonders to your body and mind, and cut the stress.

Vacay Time –

Head to your favorite getaway destination with your friends, family or on your own, and relax. This is the best way to clear all the clutter in your mind; retrospect and reset.

Digital Detox -

To remove yourself from the work zone during your downtime, take your hands off the device completely – avoid emails, texts, notifications and social media.

Rediscover –

What’s that one thing that you have been waiting to do all these years – paragliding, taking up salsa classes, visiting the top ten restaurants in your city or splashing some colors on the canvas? This is the time when you should actually start doing it. Rediscover yourself by experiencing something new in life.


Sometimes your brain needs complete rest. Being an entrepreneur means keeping your mind active at all times. This can lead to mental burnout, and it can hamper your creativity and efficiency, negatively impacting your business. Turn off the phone, play some music and doze off. This will improve your overall health and mental well being.

To feel refreshed, recharged and reinspired, at times you should simply do nothing. Just take a deep breath and mediate. This will calm you down and help you plan ahead in life, allowing you to get back to growing your business with a fresh perspective in mind.


Tasnim Ahmed
Tasnim Ahmed

Tasnim Ahmed is a content writer at Escalon Business Services who enjoys writing on a multitude of subjects that include finops, peopleops, risk management, entrepreneurship, VC and startup culture. Based in Delhi NCR, she previously contributed to ANI, Qatar Tribune, Marhaba, Havas Worldwide, and curated content for top-notch brands in the PR sphere. On weekends, she loves to explore the city on a motorcycle and binge watch new OTT releases with a plateful of piping hot dumplings!

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