Time for a Pause
Civil Engineer –
Amidst the continual stream of project deadlines, revisions, updates and revisions of revisions, it is very easy to forget to pause for a few moments throughout the day. After hours of grueling design in opposition to obstinate constraints, sometimes the key is not in that next set of calculations, but in a short break. Often, a short break is all that is needed to gain a new perspective on a design problem. Throughout the week, our team participates in a group of activities that help establish a rhythm of pausing.
First, our team gathers for a weekly coffee (or beverage-of-your-choice) break. During that time, we engage in casual conversation with a backdrop of South Table Mountain out the window. Breakfast food is added in, this weekly pause is an anticipated break.
Second, our team gathers twice daily (well at least once) for an exercise break. We typically do 10 push-ups, 10 sit ups and 10 squats. It is amazing what a little oxygen in your lungs and some exercise will do for you! Those who want an additional adrenaline fix can take a mid-day exercise break at a local fitness center.
Third, our recreation committee has set up a weekly bowling league. At the center of the work week, this is a great way to relieve tension in the midst of stress and deadlines.
Fourth, our health and wellness committee also offers other ways to pause during the week such as yoga during lunch and seated massage.
Finally, if it’s not time for bowling, coffee time, an exercise break, yoga, or a seated massage; the great outdoors is always available for a few breaths of fresh air or a short walk.
So there are plenty of ways to add some pause into our daily whirlwind of tasks and it takes some concerted effort to add them into a busy schedule. The benefits of pausing are worth the momentary downtime in production, including increased efficiency, productivity and morale. I encourage you to pick a couple and add them into your daily/weekly routine and you may even find a solution to your difficult design problem in the process.