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The very first thing I see upon exiting the plane recently in Tokyo’s Narita airport? A sign to McDonald’s! It made me laugh and also feel a little closer to home. McDonald’s is indeed worldwide and thus their marketing campaigns are recognized across the globe. This one, however, has special appeal. Popular in the United States for years, was the slogan “You Deserve a Break Today” and the implication was that you should go to McDonald’s to get said break snacks. If you think about it, the bigger question here is why does a fast food company need to remind us to take a break and take care of ourselves? Aside from the irony of the “care” or nutrients in their food, are we so very nose down, guilt ridden over relaxing, and convinced that we must work 700 hours a day in order to be successful ,that we must hear some slogan twice that many times a day to give ourselves permission to actually stop and eat? Yep, that was a mouthful, but just in case I’ve hit a nerve, on the day we celebrate a work holiday in the US, here are 18 MORE reasons you deserve a break today and have every right to give yourself permission to do so.McdonaldsBreakToday

  1. Creativity isn’t ignited under pressure. Going with the flow for a while tends to fan that flame.
  2. The law of diminishing returns applies to math AND managers. At some point the same task will take you twice as long if you’ve run out of energy.
  3. Think lumberjack and saw. If you don’t stop to sharpen the fool thing, you’ll eventually start swearing at the dull saw, when it’s you who’s constant drive is dodging the problem.
  4. If you’ve not heard it, listen to the song “The Cat’s in the Cradle” and ask yourself, is that what I’m doing?
  5. All work and no play, makes you dull. Wouldn’t you rather be scintillating? ( I love that word!)
  6. Your best work comes when you’re being your best self. However you define a “break”, giving yourself one on a topic that you normally internally criticize, helps you get better instead of feeling beaten down.
  7. It’s hard to sustain a focus on everyone else when you fail to occasionally focus on yourself.
  8. Pushing so hard for so long makes the very things you’re pushing hard on, push back.
  9. When you move at the speed of sound, you’ll likely miss those golden opportunities that don’t make much noise but could turn your project, work, or life around.
  10. The stats of those who wither or die when they retire are staggering enough to make most anyone focus on the stuff “to do before I die” now instead of when you think you’ll have time.
  11. If your list doesn’t include time for you, no one else’s will either.
  12. When you procrastinate taking a break, those things you also ‘hate’ will stay on your list that much longer.
  13. If what you have is a job, your breaks are mandated. If you get to do what you love, breaks may not be required, but why do you think it is that not taking breaks in just a “job” could eventually get you ‘fired’.
  14. Sometimes you have to stop thinking to find the answer.
  15. Breaks they take look different for different leaders, but leaders who fail to take them, all look the same.
  16. If you worked out 24/7, you’d eventually hit a wall. Mental walls are bigger, stronger, and last longer.
  17. Think of how you’ll laugh when you say “gotta sec” to yourself instead of just hearing it from everyone else.
  18. Because you’re worth the same TLC you work so hard to make sure everyone else is able to receive.


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