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Know When to Take a Break

December 27, 2009

know when to take a break from drawingAs a perfectionist, I learned at a very young age the importance of knowing when to walk away from a project. I was in Girl Guides for a long time when I was a kid and a significant part of the program involved making crafts. While I love making and creating, and while I consider myself to be artistic, I am not a crafty person. In fact, I hate making crafts.

I love the crafts themselves and admire people who can do it well. My mom is a crafter; the things she makes are amazing! But there’s something about the finicky nature of crafts that frustrates the heck out of me!

I remember being in Brownies and getting all worked up because my project didn’t look just right. I can still remember my mom saying, “just take a break, Miranda, just take a break.”

I was reminded of this lesson, which I have applied to my entire life, during my recent portrait marathon. No matter how tight the deadline, no matter how much  work you need to do, never under-estimate the power of a short break.

Even a ten minute break helps to clear your mind and give you a fresh start. When you start feeling frustrated or overwhelmed (like you’ll never get it done), go for a quick walk, grab a snack, read a book or watch some TV. Afterwards, you will feel ready to tackle your task again.

It might sound counterproductive: take a break when you’re worried about getting something done. The thing is, when you’ve been working too long, you get to the point when you stop being productive even if you’re still working. Taking that ten minutes break will make the rest of your time more effective.

I call it having a “fresh brain.”

Whatever it is that you’re trying to do, take this lesson with you into the New Year and fit some breaks into your schedule!


From → Art General

  1. I love to see great work by young artists! You have real talent.

  2. Being a perfectionist is a hard trait to tame! But, I agree, it’s important to take a break and reset your brain. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to go meditate now….

    • Thanks for your comment, Maria. I absolutely love reading your blog. Happy meditation!

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