Smack dab in the middle of each day we have the chance to take a break from work, eat, and recharge. How sad is it that so few of us take full advantage of this opportunity!
It’s been quite some time since the last (consequently the first and heretofore only the third) post in my Lucky Sevens series. So, today, I’m sharing seven tips on how to make the most of your lunch break.
Let me dispel a myth—you’re not required to work through lunch. Sadly, quite a few of us suffer from the delusion that we need to power on through the day without so much as a potty break let alone stopping to eat.
Do yourself a favor, don’t take any calls, don’t answer your email, save your filing for later, etc. It will all be there when you get back.
This seems fairly obvious, but I’m always surprised by how many people I know who go the entire workday without a bite to eat. It’s just not healthy to skip meals. You’ll be less cranky if nothing else and your co-workers will thank you.
Brown Bag It
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
I’ve got two great reasons for why you should bring your lunch whenever you can.
1) You control the portions and the content. This means you’ll have a better idea of how many calories you’re wolfing down and how much fat you’ve got to burn at the gym later. When you eat out it’s a lot more difficult to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
2) You save money. The cost of a ham & cheese sandwich plus a baggie of chips and a drink from home is about three to five bucks. It’s easy to spend well over $10 on a restaurant lunch.
Weather permitting, I love to eat outside. This past week in Houston we had some unseasonably lovely weather and I was able to take advantage of it. I find it much more enjoyable to eat under the sun than under the flicker of fluorescent lighting any day.
When you eat outside you gain the added benefit of not being interrupted by co-workers. If I had a nickel for every time someone came up to me in the break-room and said “I’m sorry to bug you on your lunch break, but…” I’d have way more nickels than I currently do.
Go for a Walk
Don’t have time to exercise? Yeah, I tell that lie, too.
It probably doesn’t take you your entire lunch break to eat your food (especially if you bring it from home). Why not get a little exercise? Your heart will thank you.
Read a Book
One of the most common excuses I hear from people who don’t read is that, although they want to, they don’t have any time.
Read a paragraph in between bites and then spend the rest of your break turning pages. That way you won’t need to pretend you’ve read the title at your next book club meeting.
Go for a Date
With three kiddos it can be a challenge for us to schedule a regular date night. So, the wife and I sometimes get together for lunch.
Our lunch dates take us away from our daily tasks and help us stay connected. Show your loved ones you care and that you’d rather be with them than at work.
Cubicle workers of the world unite! It’s high time we reclaimed our lunch hour. Most of the tips I’ve shared can be combined with one or more of the others to further boost the effectiveness of your break.
How do you make the most of your lunch break? Sound off in the comments below.
- Skipping lunch break costs business £50m a day (telegraph.co.uk)
- Reclaim the… lunch break! Firms ‘losing millions of pounds because productivity levels plummet in the afternoon’ (dailymail.co.uk)