Take some time out…it’s good for your brain!

Take some time out…it’s good for your brain!

Although this article refers to an American Thanksgiving period, the same principles apply anywhere at pretty much any time of the year. 

It's so important, for health and happiness and productivity, to take time out at regular intervals. 

Here's why…

By Minda Zetlin from Inc.com

It's Sunday evening but instead of relaxing with your family, you're sitting in front of your home computer. There are just a few emails you have to send out before the week starts, a couple of projects you want to complete in the quiet before the phone calls and urgent emails begin arriving the next morning. You're tired, and vaguely cranky to find yourself working on what's supposed to be a day of rest. But it needs to get done, so you push through.

If you're anything like me, this will sound all too familiar. The thing is, it's bad for your brain. A growing body of scientific evidence explains what many of us have learned from unpleasant experience: Push yourself through too many hours or days of work and your brain starts to push back. Ideas that once flowed easily dry up, and tasks that you should be able to perform quickly become excruciatingly difficult. If you're like me, at that point, you feel tempted to scold yourself to buckle down and work harder. That's completely counterproductive–you need to give your brain, and yourself, some rest.

In fact, scientists say you almost certainly need more rest than you're getting. Here's how to start fixing that:

1. Take short play breaks.

Reading about this research, I finally understand why it often feels necessary to me to pause in the middle of writing something, sometimes in mid-sentence, and play a computer game for a few minutes. Turns out that switching our attention to a simple task like a game (in the study it was some anagrams) gives a different part of our brain the opportunity to step in and problem solve.

Of course, playing video games is infinitely more fun than working so sometimes it can be hard to switch back. I find the Pomodoro Technique approach of using 25 minutes of work alternated with five minutes of recreation works well. Give it a try: You'll find you work better and more efficiently if you let your subconscious handle part of the load.

2. Take more frequent vacations.

Americans are allotted an average of 10 days vacation time each year. That's not enough according to brain researchers–and many of us don't even take all of it. A Harris survey found Americans ended 2012 with an average of nine unused vacation days…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE 

Then go and take a happiness break!