I'm exceptionally bad at taking breaks

One of my goals for this year is to get better at taking breaks from work. But, honestly, I'm doing a terrible job at it. Whether it's taking a lunch break, calling it a day, or taking a little coffee break: I don't stop when I should stop. I keep telling myself I'll do better, but in the moment, I screw up. And it's not because work is stressful or too much is expected of me – it's my own fault.

The problem is, I'm always telling myself that I'll just finish this one small thing that'll only take 2 minutes. But then 5 minutes pass, and another 5 minutes, and another, until half an hour has gone by. And suddenly, I've only got a short lunch break before the next meeting starts. It's funny how in this situation I keep looking at the time, seeing how it flies, and I'm just like, "Oh God, I should get going..." but I don't do it. Even though I should just get up and go. I'm such a dingus.

I know that I don't have to respond to messages right away. No one expects an immediate response. But it's just one message, which then turns into a few messages, and then a longer conversation. Or when doing code reviews, I tell myself that I'll just write those few last comments and finish up the whole review (even though nobody would be mad if I submit only half a review, and do the next half later). Or when I'm coding, just a few more lines of code.

It's always small tasks that, for some reason, I think will be done in 2 minutes.

But I always feel like I have to get it all done, or else it's going to occupy my mind all through lunch or the next day. But will it really? Like... really?

Two weeks ago, I took a day off and didn't check Slack even once. I woke up to a bunch of notifications on my phone, and without reading them, I paused all work-related apps. And you know what? I didn't check them all day. This surprised me because I usually open Slack automatically, like how you open TikTok, but not while you're sitting on the toilet. That was a win!

The thing is, I keep telling myself I'll do better tomorrow, but then I relapse the day after. It feels like an endless cycle. It makes me less motivated to do better. Even though I know I should just take a goddamn break.