The importance of regular breaks

Taking time to stop

One of the things we place a great deal of emphasis on here is the importance of breaks. This is not just to give our students regular, physical breaks from making, but also to give their minds a rest too. Whether it’s a morning cuppa or taking a few minutes out to chat with fellow students during the afternoon, time for breaks is just as important as the time we spend making.

Much research has been done into this over the years. The results show that most of us, in whatever field we work, either do not take enough breaks or are not taking them effectively. We live in a society where the idea of being constantly busy is seen as a great thing. It is something to be proud of. Yet taking time out is often regarded as a problem. This is so not the case.

Focus, focus, focus

If you have ever had trouble doing the same task for a long time, you will know how quickly you begin to lose focus. Yet taking even the briefest of breaks can refocus the mind. Breaks allow us the space to get back to it – and be even more productive. Moreover, taking regular breaks can serve as creative fuel for the task at hand. It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy what you are doing, it is impossible to be creative on an empty tank.

This is one of the reasons we run our ‘Dimbleby’ sessions during the morning tea break. Dimbleby’s have become core to our training here. Subjects range from the practical, like making piston fit drawers, to the theoretical, like learning about the Fibonacci Numbers. Alongside a cuppa, these short, sharp lectures or demos are the perfect bitesize chunks of inspiration needed to give our students a much needed boost before they head back to the bench.

That said, for the students here at Rowden it can take time to adjust to our way of doing things. People come here from many different backgrounds. Some from very a structured, defined way of life, others from more relaxed careers. Either way, coming here requires a certain mindset – or at the very least, a willingness to adapt. It can take a while but by the time our students enter the second half of the course, they have adapted to the Rowden Way. And, more importantly, they realise that they can make AND break.

Now, where’s my mug…

Until next time…



David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

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