Has there ever been a time when no matter how much you tried, you just couldn’t complete the task you set out to? No matter what you did, your focus wandered, your mind drifted, and before you knew it hours had passed and you accomplished nothing? I have. It’s so frustrating!
The more you think about the fact that you’re getting nothing done, the rose your focus gets. It’s moments like these when it’s important to remember that it’s okay, and even essential, to step away and take a break sometimes.
Give yourself permission to take a break!
We’re creatures of constant progress and constant productivity. Sometimes, to get our best work in, we need to give ourselves permission to take a break. Unfortunately, that’s something many people struggle with.
Many of us, especially moms, feel like we have to continually be working at something. We work at being the best at our jobs all day long. Then we come home and work at being the best mother and wife we can be. We strive to do all the things; make meals, play games, clean the house, read to our kids, and the list goes on. When the kids go to bed, it doesn’t end. We have part-time work from home jobs, we run blogs or online businesses, or we pursue hobbies and passions.
We never stop. That’s the problem. Our minds never rest. They are constantly trying to keep up with whatever is flying at us next, whether it be a problem to solve or task to complete.
But no one can keep up that pace. NO ONE. We all need to give ourselves permission to take a break. It’s difficult when we feel like we have to keep up this pace or we’ll drop a ball, but sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves. Taking a break won’t hurt anything. It may actually help.
Your project isn’t going anywhere
Whatever it is that you’re working on, it’s not going anywhere. Take a step away to do something else and come back to it later. Trying to force it is only going to lead to more frustration and additional struggling. Sometimes, we have to realize when we’re making the problem worse.
Unless whatever you’re working on is urgent and life-altering, it can wait. If you’ve been struggling to figure out the pattern for your daughter’s Halloween costume for an hour and have nothing more than a few vague ideas still floating around in your head, you need to step away and take a break.
Sticking with something past the point of pure frustration won’t help.
Occasionally when I’m writing this blog, the words don’t flow easily. In fact, they sometimes refuse to come at all! No matter what I try, or how I try it, I can’t write cohesive sentences to save my life. After several hours, I’ll have a handful of half-baked sentences, thrown together haphazardly in paragraphs. And there is no thread holding them altogether. It’s incredibly frustrating to feel unaccomplished and that I’ve wasted so much time getting nothing done. In those situations, I’m best served by reminding myself of a few things.
It won’t always be easy. No creative endeavor will always be simple. There will be moments of struggle. I can’t beat myself up over an unproductive session, as long as I gave it my best effort.
I might be on the wrong path. On days when the writing is extremely difficult and nothing seems to come out right, it’s hard to know why. It’s only after I take a break and shift my focus to something else that I’m able to realize it’s because I was not writing about the right thing.
Sometimes I just need a break. Too often, I expect too much from myself. It’s good to remember that I need to give myself a break. If I’m really struggling, it very well may be that I’m just burnt out.
Don’t fight upstream
Next time you find yourself struggling to accomplish something, and you feel the frustration and pressure rising, step away. Take a break. Enjoy a walk, take a nap, watch a movie, read a book, or just play with the kids. Let your concentrated mind relax and just be. You’ll be able to take on the task much better later.
Sometimes we just need to rest our minds. Other times we need to stop thinking about what we’re working on in order to be able to view it from a new angle, gain a new perspective. Either way, taking a break is the essential step to get us over past the difficulty we’re having.
As much as we may feel like we are, we are not Superwoman. We all need a break sometimes. Give yourself permission to take a break and you’ll be back to feeling like your Superwoman (and Supermom and Superwife) self in no time.
When was the last time you were stuck and needed to take a break? How did it help?
-To your Better Life-