When (And How) To Take Breaks
Doing stuff is an important part of college- whatever it is, class, parties, or work- doing it is how it gets done. That’s obvious. But taking breaks and strategic rests are equally important to keep you going. To make sure you maximize your doings, it’s important to know when to stop, what to stop, and how.
1. Take More Breaks on Boring Stuff
Staying up late working on a project or studying for a test is a good idea, but when you stay up too late for too many nights you get diminishing returns. Your eyes burn and blur over the paper and your brain can’t extract any more information from the text. Furthermore, now you’re burnt out. Ideally you should be propelled by passion for what you do. That’s not always going to happen, but desperation is a fickle mistress. Once you get the initial burst of dedication you’re going to slack. It’s artificial. If you’re passionate about a difficult work, you don’t need many breaks. If it bores you, break it up.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Everyone wants sleep, desperately, until it’s actually their bed-time. Well, take a break from the internet and go to sleep earlier. Waking up earlier is out of the question and you’re probably sleeping as much as you can, so minimize late-night web-surfing and get to bed. Future-you will thank you.
3. Rotate Good Stuff
Whatever you do that you enjoy, it should be spaced out for maximum success. This is especially true for less heathy indulgences like hamburgers or alcohol but it’s also true with more basic stuff like video-games or hanging out with a specific friend or friend-group. This is because of diminishing returns again: the difference between three beers and zero beers is a much bigger difference than the difference between five and eight beers. Similarly, if you take a night off drinking you’ll find yourself healthier and that you need less drinking to get the same result later. Rotate your vices, so you don’t get over-saturated with hamburgers in a row or smoking every night for a week and you’ll be happier for it. It’s somewhere between acting in moderation and stretching that moderation to get the most out of it every time.
4. Break Your Rules (Sometimes)
If you’re on a diet (for some reason) break your diet. Have a hamburger covered in onion-rings and bacon. Then, get back on your diet. It’ll be a lot better for you than cheating around your diet the whole time not having the hamburger you wanted all along until you finally quit. Breaking your rules is better than bending them because you can come back to the system afterwards, refreshed from your break from it.
This doesn’t apply to your girlfriend, Jeff.
5. Take a Break From Breaks
Ultimately there are many different and important ways and reasons to take breaks in your schedule. Taking breaks can keep you refreshed and more energized throughout, but, at a certain point, there’s something to be said for pushing yourself. So, go as hard as you can: take the all-nighter and party all day (or something). Then, when you recover, swearing never to drink again, or whatever, you can begin a new break before your next adventure.