The power of taking breaks daily

Being an illustrator, or any other kind of artist requires multiple abilities. Not only the artistic ability but we must also be good at time management, discipline, focus, organization, productivity, among others. 

Many illustrators work from home. That has positive and negative aspects. On one hand, you’re the monarch of your kingdom, you make all decisions and manage every task as desired. On the other hand, you have to schedule your time and stick to it seriously. But not having fixed working hours, a fixed time for lunch or breaks can make the day-to-day challenging.

We’re constantly juggling, with dozens of things on our to-do lists and calendars, agendas, etc.

We want to get things done…

But in our desire to accomplish we often forget to take breaks or even… to take days off. Yet we still expect our bodies and minds to work efficiently.

We can be, consciously or unconsciously, pushing the boundaries of our health in favour of success and productivity. Have you already had health problems due to drawing, painting or sitting for long periods of time?

Situations, where your body says “take a break” but your mind says “hold on a minute, I just want to finish this”. These minutes can turn into hours. Eventually, pain arrives to show us that we have to rest. The most common health problems that artists suffer are back, neck, wrist, and shoulder pain, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome.

For a freelancer, getting ill means that the work machine stops producing. As a consequence, our financial situations can suffer. At that point, we become disappointed with being sick. We ask ourselves, “why does this keep happening?” Maybe we know the answer, however, we don’t want to see it.

If we want to stay in the game for many years, we have to think about “the long term”. All of these little everyday actions influence our success. Being healthy is certainly a requirement to achieve our goals.

The benefits of taking breaks are many:

  • decrease stress
  • recharge and reset your energy
  • reconnect with yourself
  • accomplish your goals in the long-term
  • prevent you from acute pain
  • prevent you from having to take medication
  • prevent from losing money
  • be more productive
  • be present and efficient in every task
  • prevent you from burning out
  • help you to have a stable rhythm of work
  • be happy

Next time you’re faced with the internal battle between, “take a break” and “two more minutes, I want to finish this”, think how much it costs in terms of your health, well-being, and money in the long term.

After writing this post, it’s time for me to take a break. I will enjoy a few minutes of meditation now.