I go to a school where people work so hard, they get sick, are miserable for weeks, and then get better just in time to catch the same disease right back. Or so it appears, although I have been informed that according to medicine this is not very likely. The point is that most of my colleagues have a startling disregard for their own health.
I find this perplexing, as I love making myself feel good. I don't exercise enough or eat as well as I should, but I refuse to fail to get enough sleep unless it's really important, and most of the time I do get the hours in. I believe that taking a lunch break, or a taco break, or a dinner break, or a midnight breakfast break, is not only important, but sacred and necessary. I will go to great ends to accomplish this feat. In general, I believe in taking breaks because I have an extremely hard time maintaining my concentration for long periods of time. Taking a break - and I like to take game breaks, or TV breaks - refresh the mind and lighten the spirit.
I know for a fact that I don't get enough work done by my own measure. While it is commonly believed that teachers assign you more than they expect you to read, I always intend to read all of it. Naturally, I virtually never accomplish this goal, and fall short of even my minimum standards. I am always sorry not to get enough done, but it seems that in reality, there is little I can do to get more done and retain my sanity. And I find that sanity makes me more efficient than being depressed about work.
When I take breaks, especially when I take food breaks, I frequently attempt to seduce my colleagues away from their desks and make them come with me. I ask because I know that they, too, are working hard, and they will more often than not refuse to take a break. As far as I know, this pattern of behavior is the norm. Want to go grab a bite? Nope, can't, too busy. We are too busy all of the time.
One might ask, if we are too busy all of the time, then shouldn't we be getting more done? How is it that we can all be too busy, but never finished? Is our only alternative to settle for less than we know we can accomplish? When does being too busy wrap around to become an impediment to accomplishment unto itself? What are the bounds of sanity, and do we cross them when we decide that work is more important than rest or food? Perhaps most importantly, when we leave this place and stop having homework, what will fill that void?
It's difficult to address these questions when you have deadlines, but they are no less important in the long run.