Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sanity-Saving Saturday: Allow for Breaks

Happy Saturday, readers!

It's been a pretty hectic week for me. Hopefully you aren't all feeling the same way too! But, if you are, you're reading the right post!

This week's "Sanity-Saving Saturday" tip is to allow for breaks.

It sounds simple, right? Common sense? And yet, this is something I hardly ever allow myself to do when things start to get crazy.

Something important to note is that there are two types of breaks: good breaks, and evil breaks.

Good breaks are those that allow you to collect your thoughts, relax, or enhance your productivity.

Evil breaks are time-suckers. They're the "breaks" you take, but don't feel any relaxation from.

Examples of some good breaks:
  • Baking: I love baking when I get stressed. Baking is something I'm good at; it makes me feel productive, and I love the smells as it's baking and I'm finishing my task(s)
  • Going to the gym
  • Taking a walk: This is a great way to clear your head. It's not intensive, doesn't require a membership, and makes you feel a little more productive, too.
  • Laundry: I find doing laundry to be a bit of a relaxing break. When I know I'll be studying all day, I love to do laundry. Every hour, I take a 10-minute break to wash, sort, and fold the clothes. It makes me feel super productive, it smells good, and cleans my apartment!
Examples of some evil breaks:
  • Facebook: Do I need to explain this one? I'll pop over to FB thinking that I'll just be five minutes. Not only do I waste time doing, really, nothing on there, but I also never feel like I had much of a break. Or I'll get distracted from my task(s). Or obsessively check it. Point is: Facebook is evil if you're trying to be productive.
  • Pinterest: I love love LOVE pinterest...but it's horrible for my productivity! All it does is add to my to-do list. Example? I'll be looking around on pinterest and see some nail polish I like. I look at my own, plain, unpolished nails with sudden urgency. This must be fixed right away! Next thing I know, I'm spending 20 minutes painting my nails instead of doing anything worthwhile--and painting nails is not a priority.
  • Cleaning: I know this looks weird, since I believe baking and laundry are good breaks. But seriously, cleaning is a horrible break for me because it's like Pinterest: my to-do list gets super long! Baking and laundry are finite tasks: once you've completed them, you're done. Even though I've tried making cleaning a finite task (ie I'm only going to clean the toilet and the shower), I then realize there's so much more that needs to be cleaned! Evil spiral!
  • Watching TV: this is such a time sucker. Does anyone really feel like just watching TV was a good "break" for them? I definitely don''s like spending time on Facebook for me.
I know this sounds like common sense, but how many of us really sit town and recognize a list of our own "good" breaks and "evil" breaks? Seriously...make a list some time. Put it in a place where you may be tempted by evil breaks. Hopefully it will stand as a reminder to you that saving your sanity is all about choosing good breaks and allowing yourself happiness.

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