Alexander Charles
Xerox public relations coordinator, Global Public Relations

A sudden case of fatigue and drop in enthusiasm about your work is commonly referred to as “hitting a wall.” 

Remedies vary for this all-too-common phenomenon.  If it’s a momentary brain strain you’re experiencing, try taking a walk, reprioritizing your to-do list, resting briefly, planning activities you enjoy or just momentarily stopping whatever brought on your condition.

However, if you’ve been accused of discussing work while you sleep or find yourself not living fully in the present, it may be time for an extended breather.  In my world, I know it’s time to take a break when what my family calls the “thinking-about-work-face” has made one too many appearances during the weekend. 

Time away from the office used to elicit feelings of guilt and anxiety. I wondered what I was missing and who might need a response from me on one matter or another.  But I’ve learned that time away is an important key to sustaining success at the office.

If an “official” vacation is not in the cards right now, plan to take a day or an afternoon off.   You’ll find the break can have the same benefits as a more extended vacation. For example, it could help:

  • Promote creativity
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve quality of work and life
  • Relieve stress
  • Renew enthusiasm

Years ago, I went to graduate school full time but also opted to be a full-time intern.  I watched my mother do the same for years without any effects and thought “if she can do it, why not.”

Apparently, I’m adopted.  By the time I graduated; I had hit my wall.

So after graduation but before starting a new job, I took a much needed vacation. When I returned, I started my job refreshed and ready to go with a new appreciation of an extended breather.

Therefore, if and when you hit your wall, take some time away.  The benefits of a well-deserved break are worth the time in the long run.