Why are footpaths laid in sections, rather than one long strip of concrete? Simple: It's so that when the ground inevitably shifts, the stone breaks in a controlled way, rather than ruining the job. You can use that same principle in your own life when stress comes your way. Photo by Till Westmayer.
As productivity writer Seth Godin explains, breakpoints allow you to predict and handle your stress in ways that don't ruin your entire life for you. If you hit your breaking point in the middle of family dinner, you could end up hurting those you care about. However, if you give yourself time to vent the energy by unwinding at a concert or blowing off steam in a video game, you're creating a very safe, necessary breakpoint for your own stress:
Well, the ground shifts. When it does, perfect concrete cracks in unpredictable ways, often ruining the entire job. When you put the breakpoints in on purpose, though, the concrete has a chance to absorb the shifts, to degrade effectively.
You can apply this principle to many areas in your life. If you're struggling with finances, give yourself a breakpoint by moving all your bills to one day, so you can relax a bit the rest of the month. If you're stressed at work, carve out time off. Even if it's not a holiday, defending your weekends or taking a targeted extra day off can give you the space you need to exercise your weaknesses effectively.
Breakpoints [Seth Godin]