Over the last two years, Americans took the least vacation time in the world. We answer emails on weekends, work overtime, and stretch ourselves too thin. Our culture of overwork is not only making us sick and exhausted, it’s actually making us less productive as well. Taking regular breaks to rest and recharge doesn’t take away from our achievements, it actually boosts what we can accomplish.
Downtime gives our minds and bodies a chance to relax. Going for a walk, taking a nap, or enjoying dinner with friends is not only enjoyable but necessary to reach our full potential. And this goes for everyone. NASA discovered that 40-minute naps boosted performance by 34 percent and increased alertness by 100 percent. In periods of rest, our brains process and consolidate what we have learned. Without breaks, we cannot fully reap the benefits of our hard work.
This is part of the reason some companies and local governments across the world have embraced the four-day workweek. Periods of focused productivity balanced with mindful relaxation is far more effective than the “go, go, go” mentality.
So keep this in mind as you go about your day today. Take your full lunch break, watch the clouds, take a nap, listen to a podcast. Remember that resting is not a weakness, it’s a powerful tool and a solution for beating the burnout and fueling innovation.