How to Make your Lunch Break Productive
Talking about what one should be doing with their lunch break seems uncanny. Most people will think it’s not necessary because the purpose of a lunch break is just to eat and rest. Your lunch break is important because it’s the time you rejuvenate and prepare to handle the remaining issues of the day. So it is important to make most of your lunch break because the rest of your day depends on it. Most workers do not step away from their desks to go for a break, they just sit in their chairs churn down a sandwich, and continue working. Some others step away but only for a few minutes and they are back to work. Only very few workers spend their break outside doing something relaxing.
Lunch breaks are not just for eating, eating is one of the many things you can do to recharge for the rest of the day.
Importance of lunch breaks:
- You prevent fatigue – headaches, back pain, eyestrain, anxiousness, and many more are caused by fatigue. Taking some time to stretch away from your desk could reduce the chances of back pain. The aim is to work smarter not harder, that’s how productivity is achieved.
- It’s a form of exercise – Going for a break helps you stretch your spine and back after sitting at a spot for long hours. Moving helps to burn calories accumulated from eating but sitting reduces metabolism rate or circulation. You can go to a gym and work out and burn calories. When you return, you are energetic and ready to take the rest of the day.
- You get a creativity boost – sometimes our light-bulb moments are periods when we are relaxing, enjoying a meal, or doing something, not in any way work-related. Breaks are therefore necessary because it gives our brain rest and allows our brains to organically come up with ideas.
- You will be happier- people who engage in productive activities during their lunch breaks always come back happier. If for example, one spent their time interacting with new people or with friends, sharing jokes with them, or learning new things about them, the person returns to work happier because of the interaction. You feel more motivated when you return to work.
How to make your lunch break productive:
- Make a plan – take some minutes to make preparations for what you have to do when you return from the break. For instance, If there’s a meeting or conference as soon as the break is over, then set up the documents for it, if you are done working on it, also plan at what to return from your break so you won’t be late for the meeting or conference. When you do this, you come back from your break recharged instead of anxious or feeling pressured.
- Get up from your desk – Even if you have to meet a deadline and must work during your break to meet up, grab your work and change scenery. It’s refreshing. You change from your work desk to the cafeteria, a restaurant or go outdoors for fresh air. It refreshes your mind.
- Take a real break – this is important if one is going to get recharged. Working 8 hours straight without time to break, is not good for efficiency and productivity. Stop, decompress. You have been on overdrive since morning, possibly spending 10 minutes clearing your head, meaning, just think about nothing.
- Eat – this cannot be overemphasized. Churning down a quick sandwich or skipping lunch entirely isn’t going to make your work better, most people just become grumpy or frustrated eventually before the workings hours end. You are not being a hero by starving, when the hunger pans begin and the headache kicks in, you will be a nuisance either by attitude or by slowing down productivity. Your health is also affected when you don’t feed well. Don’t just eat anything. Make it a habit to eat healthy meals.
- Network – Use the break period to connect with new people, fellow employees, or even old friends. Get to know your coworkers and this most times happens while sharing a meal with them. People will rarely tell you about themselves while working but will open up in certain places. Introduce yourself to a new person and catch up with others at least once a week. In doing this you get to know things about your organization that you were not aware of before or even get new ideas about work. If you have a friend who works nearby, you can grab lunch with them. Your personal life and work-life are both important and must be both nurtured.
- Read – Some people make it a habit of reading a blog, a chapter of a book, or even a magazine two or three times a week, and this is awesome. The blog, book, or magazine may be work-related or just for leisure. For example, reading newspapers help you keep with the recent happenings.
- Accomplish personal tasks – sometimes there may be tasks that you have kept pending or you’ve been wondering when you will handle it. Your lunch break could be an opportunity to handle them. Some people use their lunch break to take calls, call people they need to call, make arrangements needed for family or friends. If you have been complaining that you have no time, you may have to consider maximizing your lunch break for this purpose sometimes. Don’t cram your lunch break with too many activities or else you1 will end the break more stressed instead of feeling re-energized.
- Learn something new – some people use their breaks to learn a skill, take up their hobbies, or even learn an instrument. You may be looking for time to learn an instrument, 30mins out of your break time is a lot of time to do. You can get a teacher, go over and practice or you can take online classes. You can even spend 30mins two times a week learning a new language, it does not just increase your worth in your workplace but also your self-confidence.
- Stay away from screens – You may need to turn off gadgets, electronics and just have quietness. You may already have to work all day with your gadgets, electronics, and other technological equipment, you may need to turn them off sometimes and just rest your eyes. If for any reason you have to use your gadgets, then still leave your desk and change your scenery.
- Don’t get stuck in one routine – very important to be noted. So many things have been mentioned and you may even have more ideas, this is so you are not stuck doing the same thing every day, every week, and every month. Be flexible Sometimes spend time alone recharging, sometimes hang out with friends, get to know your coworkers, run personal errands, read, and many more. Just don’t be stuck doing one thing.
It’s in your hands to make your lunch break a re-energizing experience by doing the things that make you happy, and things that reduce stress. It’s your time, maximize it.