You’re not an automaton. You cannot function at peak capacity all the time, much as your company would like that to be the case! That said, as an employee at your company it is your duty to ensure that your productivity is as high as possible. Sometimes, that means taking a break from work.

Those daily tea breaks you be helping you stay in peak work condition on a day to day basis, but over time, your average productivity continues to wear down as various stressors and other life events take their toll. Your attention span decreases, you find yourself procrastinating more often. Pretty soon, you find yourself waking up one day deciding:

“I think I’d like to be sick today”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking a sanctioned break or leave, those are your right! However, taking a sick day when you’re not actually sick is indicative of something else: That your interest in your work has waned. This one day leave that you take is akin to treating the symptoms and not the disease, as you’ll find yourself in the same state of mind within another few weeks:

“I think I’m going to be sick again tomorrow”

Until this happens:

“I haven’t been sick in a couple of weeks. Time to get sick again”

While you may still have allotted sick leaves, or annual leaves, from which to draw upon, these unscheduled, fake sick leaves actually end up affecting the growth of your entire company! Let’s discuss a more responsible way to rekindle your productivity: Take frequent, scheduled breaks!

Observe your own trends – if you find yourself in a productivity slump every three to four months, here’s what you can do. Sit down with your manager and plan out scheduled rejuvenating breaks. Maybe you take a day off next to a weekend for a quick getaway with your family or friends, or perhaps you finally take that seaside vacation you’ve always been putting off.

Remember, taking sanctioned leaves is your right as an employee, just as it is your duty as an employee to be the best possible asset to your company! Breaking the habit of random, unplanned leaves in favour of spaced out, scheduled vacations will not only be a boon to your mental and physical health, but increase your value as a productive employee!

These planned leaves will not only motivate you to work more and keep your productive, they’ll also save you from burning out and keeping you as close to automaton levels of productivity as possible. And isn’t what exactly what your company and your professional self wants?