When Should You Pause?

Frozen blonde girl stands on a winter street and looks at the camera with a serious face on a snowy background in the snowfall.
Frozen blonde girl stands on a winter street and looks at the camera with a serious face on a snowy background in the snowfall.

Part of being good at what we do is in knowing when to set boundaries and how to set limits. In a previous post, we talked about Burn Out in the workplace. Today, I want to walk you through some signs you should be paying attention to that will tell you when you need to take a break from work. It is important we know how to spot these, as not knowing when to pause, can affect our productivity in the long run. Time-Off is correlated to productivity and performance. So what are these things that will give you hints you should take some time off?

First, before considering taking some time off you should always be aware of what impact this will have on you and your team members. Build a good relationship with your team members so your absence doesn't feel like a burden to them. Another thing you must do to not burden others with your work is to make sure you can leave everything ready and meet deadlines before you leave. This is why you should try as much as possible to plan your time off at least 2 weeks in advance.

Work Anniversary

Not all employers render their employees with vacation days. Usually, vacation days are accrued on a yearly basis. However, this also depends on the contract you signed at the beginning of your work relationship. Every contract will sketch out the conditions in which your days will be accrued and what your eligibility for vacation will be. However, it is highly advisable that after a year of relentless work, you take some time for yourself. Not only to rest but also to be able to depict your next moves and growth within your role and company!

Productivity or Milestones

This is something you will need to of course negotiate with your direct boss. We do not need to wait until we are burned out from our job to ask for time off. It is important we know to pause before we need to stop. So, delineate with your boss the most important milestones on productivity and progress. Or maybe they measure by important tasks and deadlines. Whichever the case is, determine with them which are the most important ones. Then work towards achieving each of them. This will not only keep productivity levels at a peak, but it will keep you happy with the organization as well.

Irritability at Work

Your boss does something and it bothers you? A Co-worker does something and it upsets you? Do you feel like everyone is doing things just to annoy you? Your work feels too routine-y and you don't want to keep going? You need to take some time off. If you notice you are becoming too irritable with work-related manners it means you have reached a burn-out point and you need to take some time off. I have personally found myself in this position, and to be honest, before we are rude to anyone, we need to step back, pause, and take time off for ourselves.

Decaying Health or Sleeping Problems

If you carry out a healthy lifestyle and you start having health concerns or starting to have trouble sleeping, then you most likely need to consult a physician. Our organism feels exhaustion and burnout way before we do, and we usually just ignore those signs. Once you consult with a health expert you can then start planning better health practices. Only if we feel good and well-rested, will we be successful at our jobs.

Decaying Performance or Interest

Maybe you started to make some mistakes at work, or time is not being enough to achieve your daily tasks. If you start noticing your results are not being optimal, or you are making mistakes on important aspects of your roles, maybe you need to file for a reboot. If you are finding it hard to remain excited to go to work on Mondays and you loathe some activities you used to enjoy, you probably need a break. Come on, we all want to be in a job we love, and it is completely natural to perform activities we don't 100% enjoy. However, if you get to a point where all the things you want to do become dreadful, then request some time off.

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