Toxic work cultures promote working over time: Be the first in and last out. Give your 120% every day. Work the 996 schedule.
And if you’re like me, with unrelenting standards about additional personal projects, you might find it difficult to take a break.
I’ve not allowed myself to skip a week for this newsletter since I started 42 weeks ago. I don’t allow myself to go to sleep unless I’ve created at least one illustration a day.
When I’m unproductive, I feel guilty. I hate the times when I don’t have the energy or desire to do more.
But that’s simply a sign that a break is in order.
What can you do if you have unrelenting standards and expectations of yourself?
Breaking your work cycle is a matter of when, not a question of if. Life happens. Circumstances would eventually force you to take a break, and you’ll never really know when and what might happen.
One way to get comfortable with taking a break is to plan ahead. Plan a week long break in advance so that you know it is a deliberate pause in your pursuits. During your break, hold yourself to the rule that you will not work on what you usually do.
Get comfortable with the idea that you can resume your efforts after a break and everything will be alright.
Why is it important to have proper breaks?
Think about it this way: How long do you think it would take before your car broke down if you drove 18 hours a day at 200km/h? Rather quickly.
If you get tired or burned out, you don’t need more motivation or energy. It’s not your fault. You’re not weak. You simply need to rest and refresh yourself before getting back to it.
If you don’t take some time off to take care of yourself, how will you be able to keep working?
So take the weekends off to recharge so that you can continue to work on the weekdays.