Would you rather have one ear splitting shrill of an alarm, or a cacophony of a thousand small beeps? Would you rather sit right next to a sounding fire siren, or sit in the middle of a classroom filled with third graders and recorders? These may seem like unfair choices, but we are making choices like this every day. Could this 100th beep be a false positive? Should I take care of seemingly urgent tasks, or the important ones? We all could use a lesson from the most basic of computer fixes–the reboot.

Alarm fatigue affects anyone that uses technology. Unlike nurses, the beeps and alarms that most face in a day, do not inform a life or death conclusion. At worst, the noise drones on to create apathy. Ears become calloused. Motivation lulls. Taking a 5-minute break (away from technology) may be the solution that recharges and allows our ears to hear again.

Breaks enable focused times and greater productivity. Productive times are lost in the obstructive tyranny of the urgent. These beeps keep you from doing the important items you KNOW you need to do. Decision fatigue sets in from the cacophony, and we fall into patterns of boredom and neglect. The simple solution–snack time! You will return with renewed vigor.

Regardless of the daily decisions, we each can use regular breaks to sustain creativity and productivity. Then you do not have to ask yourself, “Would you rather have a rewind button or a pause button on your life?’ Just take the pause button!