You and your partner have decided to take on a renovation. You want to avoid making mistakes so have planned, budgeted, researched and are prepared for some surprises. You’re ready to get to work, have made a realistic to do list, you’ve cleared your evenings and weekends. This renovation is going to get done in record time!
You’re set; you’re ready to renovate!
Not so fast.
You need a break!
At least, you need to plan some.
If you’re anything like us, you want to work until the job is finished. Forget taking breaks, there is work to get done! While this is a well-meaning attitude, it can lead to burn out – fast.
Renovations are physically and mentally tiring
It’s called sweat equity because you are literally going to sweat. And find muscles you didn’t even know you had. Your muscles are going to find muscles. Your body needs some time to recover.
Renovations require a lot of learning, planning and decision making. It is a mental workout! As well, we are susceptible to Decision Fatigue. This happens when we need to make a lot of decisions ie. the more decisions made, the harder it is to make decisions.
Furthermore, it’s hard not to feel stressed when your bank account starts going down or things aren’t going well. It’s not only stressful to you, it’s also stressful on your partner. In turn, it’s draining to live with someone who is stressed out.
Taking breaks gives you time time away from the stress and will help keep both of you more relaxed and working efficiently.
3 crucial times to schedule breaks throughout the renovation process:
1. Breaks during the day
Decide on a reasonable amount of time to work before taking a break. Break it down into chunks. Setting a timer will remind you to take a break. It’s easy to get focused on what you’re doing and only realize you haven’t eaten lunch when you’re already hangry. We usually set a timer for 2 hours and find it quite manageable.
2. Breaks during the week
Not only are breaks important during your reno work day, they are important to have throughout the whole process. Scheduling some time off each week will give you a break to work towards. Relax, make dinner, get some exercise, play a game, watch a movie – do anything unrelated to your renovation! It’s motivating when you know you have a time off coming up. You want to push to get things done before taking that break.
3. Breaks from each other
If you’re working together on planning and completing a renovation you are going to be spending a lot of time with each other. Having time on your own is part of a healthy relationship and is a necessity during renovations! You will work hard on your renovation together – you still want to like each other at the end. absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Making the most of breaks
It is easy to forget to take a break; it’s just as easy to get caught up in enjoying the break! Setting a timer to remind you to get back to work is equally as important as setting a reminder for taking a break in the first place.
Obviously, choose something that isn’t going to take longer than the break time you have. Hopefully, you can find something fun to do! A break might even just be getting outside for some fresh air, checking in on progress or going over next steps. Don’t forget to eat and hydrate!
Get over the guilt
Admittedly, it can be difficult to stop while there’s a long list of things to get done. Yes, the list will still be there but after a break you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle it.
Sometimes you need the time away to work out solutions to problems you’re facing. Your brain will be processing about it in the background, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it. Taking breaks lets you come back to look at the problem anew.
It is inevitable that you have to power through at times; hopefully this isn’t the norm. Renovations aren’t a sprint, they’re more like a decathlon – a series of trials that you push hard to get through and then need to rest before the next event starts.
Taking breaks increases productivity and eases tensions
Breaks are especially important during a renovation! If you’re overtired it leads to mistakes, frustration and, ultimately, additional time will be needed to finish. Taking breaks keeps you fresh and focused so you can get your renovation done efficiently and on time.
What do you like to do when taking breaks? Let us know in the comments below.
-Denise and Sean
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