Benefits of Taking a Break

How often are you doing a work-related task or project and seem to be stuck? It’s likely more often than you realize. Here’s way to get unstuck.

A Personal Example

While I’ve known that there were benefits of taking a break for quite some time, recently this was driven home by a personal experience that was not related to work.

One of my hobbies is oil painting. There are times when I cannot decide what to do next, but it is clear when looking at the picture I’m working on that something is not quite right.


Actually the look on this cartoon character’s face pretty well reflects that “I’m not sure what to do next” feeling. Repeatedly I’ve found that when this happens, it helps to stop working on my painting and do something else. It could be work on another painting, but it seems to work best when I just go do something seemingly unrelated. While I don’t know why it happens, it seems that more often than not one of the following happens when I do that:

  • It all of a sudden occurs to me what I need to do next, even when I was not consciously thinking about the painting. In fact, I may have been doing something totally unrelated, such as working on something for a consulting client.
  • Even if no solution has popped into my mind, when I later return to the painting I see it with fresh eyes and what to do next almost jumps out at me.

Here I have experienced one of the benefits of taking a break without really knowing why this happens. Some more benefits are that a break helps relieve boredom, our attitude when we resume the task is better, and both our efficiency and effectiveness have improved.

Business Is Similar

Just like with a hobby, we can sometimes get stuck with whatever we are working on in business. Perhaps it is planning the implementation of new financial software, writing a business plan, or deciding on whether to introduce a new product. The possible things we can get stuck on are seemingly limitless. But, here again is an opportunity to put it aside for a while and just let your subconscious mind go to work. Move on to something else that may be totally unrelated. Like with my painting, you may suddenly realize what the next step is, or, when you return to what you were stuck on it you may see it with a new set of eyes and know exactly what to do.

Too often we think we have to keep our nose to the grindstone until we are done. Now, I’m not suggesting that we have an excuse to slack off, but I am saying that we should not overlook the benefits of taking a break.

What about you and your company. Do you sometimes find yourself stuck? Maybe it’s time to take a break and see if the solution occurs to you while doing so or if when you resume your work you realize that what seemed to be a roadblock is not one at all.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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