Society has become so obsessed with work that many of us tend to shun the idea of taking midday breaks for lunch.
However, just like athletes, professionals also need energy from food for our minds to function, and our breaks do more than just that—more than what you eat, what you do during your break has a significant effect on your level of productivity. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your lunch break:
Enjoy a proper lunch
Lunch should be about lunch. After working hard all morning, you definitely deserve a break. So, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to a meal you know you’ll enjoy.
In ‘Hunger: Who’s to Blame, the Stomach or the Brain?’, we talked about how the brain is to credit for what, when, and how much we eat.
That being said, make it a habit to eat slowly and mindfully to ensure that your brain receives the signal that you’ve eaten, allowing you to feel fuller faster and for longer.
There’s no harm in continuously building and maintaining your professional network. After all, networking is essential in any career, no matter what field you work in.
Since finding the time to network can be quite a challenge, Forbes suggests strategically using your lunch break to catch up with people you haven’t been able to talk to or to try getting to know someone new.
Take a real break
The most effective way to set yourself up for afternoon work is by actually taking a break at lunch. No matter how long or short, a break is a proven way to maintain focus and energy levels throughout the day.
Every little task and decision you make gradually depletes your psychological resources, and taking breaks in which all you really do is relax will help give your brain the time it needs to recuperate. This way, you’ll stay sharp throughout the rest of the workday.
Get up from your desk or work space
Pain Free Working says that there are several reasons ‘Why You Should Stop Eating Lunch at Your Desk’.
First, your body starts to deteriorate when you sit for too long. Second, you become less productive because you end up multitasking if you keep working while eating. Third, you get more stressed because you don’t give yourself time to shut off and recover, making you susceptible to burnout.
Go for a walk
Getting up and outside can help you in so many ways. It can clear your head, it can help your posture right itself again, and it can help you get in your steps for the day.
It doesn’t matter how far you go, but getting outside and enjoying some fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your breathing and your vitamin D levels, especially in the winter months.
However, on very cold or too-rainy days, fit it in by using the treadmill in the office gym, if you have one.
Write it all out
According to Inc.com, free-writing can effectively clear mental clutter. It can also help you manage your emotions by allowing you to write about feelings that may be too hard to verbalize.
Unless you have a particular subject to write about, focus on writing about things that are weighing on your mind or heart that day.
Work on a bullet journal
If you’re the kind of person who likes to jot down plans and goals, lunchtime is a good opportunity to do just that. Write down everything you need to remember for the week, and then use your remaining lunch breaks tracking and completing what you’ve written.
Bullet journaling, as well as working on a planner, are proven to help increase productivity, maintain focus and boost creativity.
Article specially written for FitIn Blog by Adeline Thayer
Adeline Thayer knows just what it’s like to not have much of a life outside of work. Since leaving her full-time job at a TV studio and becoming a remote worker, she’s enjoyed flexible working conditions that allow her to take better care of herself both physically and mentally. These days, she writes about how to help others find that elusive concept they call “work-life balance”.