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Taking a Break from the Job

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  • Taking a Break from the Job

    It is pretty easy to plunge into something you enjoy with such intent and fervor so as to consume most of your day/night/free time and so on. However, it is also essential to step back from time to time, turn the Computer off and just do something totally unrelated to Restoration/retouching.
    How often do you do this and what are your views on the importiance of "taking a break" and how often would you suggest doing this? Tom

  • #2
    I think it's really important to take breaks. every hour I make myself leave the computer at least once for about 5 minutes or so, and I just go and walk around, eat, look at other things etc. it's especially important for your eyes, since looking at a computer screen and nothing else for long periods is really hard on them, so it's a good idea to look away from your screen for a minute or two every little while.

    - David


    • #3
      I am notorious for not taking a break once I'm absorbed in something - my biggest weakness. I have had employers in the past who actually nearly physically remove me from my desk and shove me out the door to go to lunch...! (Well, there have been those few employers that I couldn't wait to escape from, but that's another story...)

      I try to remember, I try to force myself - I really do. But it has never seemed to work out well for me. I finally finished the challenge I was working on at 5 am this morning. And today, I reaquainted myself with the real world. I sat on the porch and read, used the weedeater on the lawn, watered the garden and the planters, made new hummingbird food and filled the feeders...

      It felt so good! I keep wondering why it's so hard for me to rip myself away from something before it's completely done just to take a short break and enjoy a few things.


      • #4
        I'm pretty much the same type as Jak when it comes to working *away* from the computer. But I find that if I try to put too much time in when doing a restoration, my eyes get tired, and my work suffers. So when I feel myself getting tired, I usually quit for a while. I think it's important to take a break when you need it, for the sake of quality, and to avoid burnout. I also think break intervals will vary among different individuals, as some will simply need more frequent or longer breaks. The trick is to recognize when you need it.



        • #5
          For me I find the break is more for my back. The eyes seem fine but sitting in that same position for hours.. hand cramped over mouse and keyboard is very tough on my back. I'm seriously thinking I need some sort of yoga movement or other exercise to do every 20 minutes or so just to counteract this.

          Anyone else encounter this problem or am I the only one getting old here? And more importantly.. have you found any good solutions?


          • #6
            When I'm not working on a photo, I take a short break about every hour. Just seems to work out that I need a drink, a snack, a bathroom break, etc. BUT - when I'm working on a photo, it seems like I exist in a parallel universe where time doesn't exist - at least I don't seem to notice it. I don't know if I go into some sort of "zone" or what, but like Jak, I find it very difficult to tear my eyes away from the screen. Once I get near done however, I DO walk away quite often for about five minutes and then come back to see my image with "new eyes".

            That being said, I'm realizing that I'm going to have to be a little nicer to my body because I'm starting to get a pain in the back of my wrist - not good. Being a former massage therapist, I've isolated the muscle that's causing (at least some of) the pain. Guess I'll have to go get some deep tissue work done.

            As far as time completely away from the computer, it seems to come in spurts. I have not yet figured out how to make it more consistent. Currently, I'll have a few REALLY long days in front of the computer - then have a day or two where I hardly look at it (because of everything that I neglected while I spent the long days sitting in front of the computer.) Definitely not healthy and I'm trying to get better at balancing things. But old habits die hard.



            • #7
              time suckage

              I can relate to the difficulty of keeping balance in our life Jean. Yes, when I'm working on a project, hours seem to disappear. I call it project related time suckage.

              My plants thirst in vain. Fuzzy green stuff is growing in my fridge. Dust is taking over the terrain. Mail piles up unanswered... dust is taking ov.... well you get the idea.


              • #8
                Well I just thought I'd let the rest of the workaholics know that today I went for a drive and ended up down by the river. While I was there, I thought, "what the heck" - so I went swimming! What fun. Man was it beautiful! And so relaxing.

                I'm starting to get the itch for a camping trip. Last summer, I spent about 3 weeks camping around the US - literally! Saw Mt. Rushmore (SD), went through Little Big Horn country (MT), Lake Coeur d'Alene (ID), Columbia River Gorge (OR), The Redwood Forest (CA), and then to Phoenix to visit my sis and on through NM, TX, OK, MI, IN.... You get the idea. And I mean real camping in a dome tent with a sleeping bag...!

                I think this summer it will just be short weekend hops, but that little dip in the river today really made me want more.


                • #9
                  speaking of breaks..

                  ooohhh I'm getting so tempted to hit the road again. I once drove from Montreal trough Toronto, Detroit, then across to Chicago, Minnesota, S. Dakota,.. Bighorns, ..Wyoming, Montana.. the whole bit.. down Columbia river to Portland.. then up to Vancouver, across Canadian Rockies, across prairies, north shore of Lake Superior (stupendously beautiful) back to Montreal.. whew 11,000 km and enjoyed every minute.

                  This year I want to visit friends in Victoria, BC, San Francisco area, and Tennessee. I suppose it would be too much to try and get that all into one trip...


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