If you keep learning and learning, you’ll eventually reach one of these stages: burnout, boredom, lack of interest, and sadness. To avoid it, you need a break from learning.
To make sure we’re on the same note, I’m not talking about 15-minute breaks. That’s something you do while learning with the Pomodoro technique.
I’m talking about big breaks, of two weeks, three months, or even one year, depending on a few factors.
Ideally, you shouldn’t learn non-stop, until you become bored or burnout with what you learn. Ideally, you should take a break from learning before you reach moments like these.
1. Take a break from learning when you know how to put it into practice
You can learn something for one week and have some practical knowledge that you can put into practice. Or, what you want to learn could be so complex that would require one year of studying before even thinking about practicing it.
But even so, when the learning time is so long, you should still find ways to practice what you learn before the actual goal of knowing enough.
Set yourself milestones connected to what you learn and do something even for 5 minutes.
When you put into practice what you learn, you learn it even better.
Therefore, take a break from learning when you have enough knowledge to practice what you learn.
2. Another important moment is when you feel overwhelmed
If you feel like you learned too much and there’s no memory left on the hard disk of your brain, then a break is more than welcome.
For example, this may happen after studying for a whole year to get a certification or a diploma. There’s so much knowledge in your mind that you feel overwhelmed even thinking about learning something else.
That, right there, is your clue for putting the books aside and starting something practical. Or not doing anything at all in regard to what you learned, for the entire break.
When you feel overwhelmed (and it can happen for any reason, not just because you learned too much), it’s a sign you’re getting closer and closer to burnout.
Listen to your body and take a break from learning. You’ll thank yourself later.
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3. When you can’t focus anymore
Getting distracted by a song or a friend is something you should easily manage.
But let’s say someone close to you dies or you lose your job. When that happens, learning shouldn’t be a priority anymore.
Whatever bad situation you’re going through, you shouldn’t force yourself to do something else than dealing with the situation.
And it’s absolutely normal to defocus. You’re not a robot and losing a friend or your job comes with a lot of emotional weight.
Forget about learning, take a considerable break, and prioritize dealing with whatever you’re going through.
4. Take a break from learning to celebrate your achievements
Getting your certification can excite and motivate you to stay focused on your learning. But exactly that motivation can be your enemy.
If you studied for one year and eventually got your certification, you should celebrate.
Take a considerable break from learning and celebrate. Travel, play video games, spend time with your friends and family and tell them about your achievement. Do those things that are important to you.
The chances are, that motivation won’t go away. You’ll feel motivated to keep learning if you take a 2-week or a 2-month break from learning.
Therefore, take some time to stay away from learning, recharge your batteries, and enjoy the energy you’ll get from other activities.
5. Understand if you’re on the right path
If you keep learning, and learning, and learning, and learning, and learning some more, how will you know you’re on the right path?
When you learn for years and years, you may get stuck in the process of learning with no end purpose.
When you set yourself to learn something, it also comes with a purpose.
For example, if you want to study medicine, you do it because you want to help others get healthy, because you want to have a high-paying job, or simply because you want to understand your body better.
From time to time, take a break from learning and try to understand if your purpose changes.
With love and optimism,
What did you learn?
What are some valuable things you learned about taking breaks while learning?
I would love to know what you think, so share your insights with me using the form below.