This is something I’ve noticed about myself when it comes to working and getting in the groove. I just want to keep going. I will avoid breaks just to make sure things go smoothly and I can finish my project when it’s a doozy.
Sometimes, though, I am forced to take breaks, so as long as I find a decent stopping point that means I won’t be floundering the first few minutes into the next part of the shift. It helps, but breaks really break me down.
I mean, aren’t break/lunch times at work supposed to be the times you relax and eat and just enjoy your food and maybe the company?
Well, even when I had an hour lunch break at my old job, it was a pain in the butt. Sometimes I was so tired I was more than willing to take it. Other times I was focused, and could’ve gotten in tons of trouble if I’d been caught not taking my lunch break. I could only do that sporadically, and usually had to have a good excuse handy that said “I have to leave a little early for __________, so can I just work through lunch to make up for it. I also had to make sure I didn’t have any little helpers that I had to supervise. If there was nobody, I could get away with it.
Most of the time, lunch just made me tired, and I’d start watching the clock. I didn’t like doing it at all because with out shift hours, we were always going to work and leaving work at peak traffic hours, so the ride home was hell and took a lot longer. I always wanted to skip it. I hate traffic.
Anyhoo, in this case, our breaks now are 30 minutes. I can’t relax during break because I’m always wondering if I forgot to set my alarm which tells me when to get out of there and clock back in just in time. If I have to get food, I gotta get in my car and drive over, wait for it, chug it down in 15 minutes or less, and get back to the store.
Not very relaxing, really.
Well, yesterday I know I overdid things. I was doing inventory in the warehouse and I really wanted to finish it because a truck with the rest of the shipment was coming. Turns out they weren’t, but oh well–I still wanted to get as much as I could done.
My shift was 10 to 4 pm. I ended up staying til 8, when we were closing and I’d just finished the last box.
My break was on the clock, composed of some gatorade, water, and Boost drinks because when I’m on a roll, I just don’t want to stop.
I stood that whole 10 hour shift on the concrete, cataloging, cleaning, breaking down boxes, sorting items. My feet were throbbing before I was even halfway through (note to self–figure out which of your shoes are best for long periods of standing and walking, or go get them next paycheck).
But I kept going. Put my iPod on its chargeable speaker and had some good tunes to keep me going.
I did NOT want to go on break. Break meant I’d interrupt my flow and have to figure out what I was doing again.
And more than that, I really wanted to get things done and keep busy.
Keeping busy keeps me from snacking continuously or having nervous, babbling conversation. Keeping physically busy just feels good because I can’t seem to get the knack of good physical work.
At least, that’s the way it feels.
I find it bizarre, though, that a break is supposed to help you recharge and feel better, feel ready to take on the rest of the shift.
Breaks, to me, feel more like a “gotcha!”, a ruse that says “ha, ha, you thought you were done with your workday–nope!” I want to relax when I’m off work more. Hell, I’m right here at Starbucks with my new blanket and coffee mug, relaxed for the first time in a while.
Well, that marathon work-time helped in one way–it made me sleep VERY well. I probably had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months. Though I have to say, re-hydrating with iced green tea for an hour or so before I went home was a great idea. I know I didn’t hydrate enough at the job.
Working on that–I’ve gotta get new bottles and a new cooler because our temporary location has sucky drinking water. I’m not an anti-tap snob, but some are just the pits.
So, I slept, and then when I was going to get up nice and early, I decided “what the hell” and set my alarm for another hour.
I could’ve easily slept longer, but got up to get to work.
My good night of sleep turned into a sleep-walking day at my office job (not helped by the fact that I didn’t make time for a coffee run before work, and didn’t get my first half-cup til about 2 pm).
Strange how I got sleep and felt half a step behind most of the day.
I’m just glad I had lots of work yesterday. I suppose all day yesterday I stood, and for most of today I sat.
I think my body had no clue what I was doing. It probably wondered if I knew!
I just find it weird why my break times are more draining than my work times. What am I missing? It’s just 15 or 30 minutes, not enough time to really go anywhere or do anything, and the constant worry about reporting back too late makes it hard to enjoy… maybe I can take up meditation during that time from now on…at least, when there’s no delivery trucks to feed my organizational beast.
I can’t figure out why I like warehouse work so much, or inventory. Maybe it’s the same reasons I can’t figure out why I like to re-do my spreadsheets and reading lists over and over.
In this case, it’s great constant motion and exercise.
I just need better shoes.
And the ability to “embrace the break.” Another 10 hour marathon like that is probably not going to go as well in the future.
4 thoughts on “Work, work, work all the time…but my breaks are exhausting!”
Some jobs require being “in the zone” to be really productive. In those cases, breaks are counterproductive. I get that. But for sure, if you’re going to be on your feet that long, you need the best possible shoes designed for that purpose. Nurses are on their feet for long hours. Check out what they wear.
I was thinking about that today. So far my Vans are the most comfortable (surprising enough), but I’ll have to look into that for next paycheck. Can’t get much done if you can’t walk right!
Very entertaining post! thank you! Loved the “quote” at the end of the piece. I’m retired, but as you experience, had much of the same dilemma’s you noted about break and lunches.
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