Do you walk around with the mentality that there aren’t enough hours in the day? Do you often choose to work through lunch, or multitask while you’re eating, just to be able to keep your day going?
While it may seem counterintuitive, taking breaks doesn’t take away time from our day. It actually increases the quality of our time because it allows our brain to take a breather and come back to our tasks more focused.
Some articles suggest working out during lunch, but that’s not everyone’s first choice. Others recommend taking a walk to clear your head.
But before we talk about adding a new layer to your schedule, let’s focus on something we already do every day: eat lunch. A study released by Tork says employees feel more engaged and productive when they make time to take a lunch break during their work day.
Fast Company lists some best practices for taking a “productive” lunch break — and that doesn’t include working. The biggest takeaway for me was the disciplined practice of focusing solely on eating, nothing else. Not working, watching television, reading, etc. Just eating.
Leo Widrich, COO of social media management platform Buffer, says: “Funnily enough, it almost appears to be a waste of time if we ‘just eat.’ But the latest research on multitasking reveals the exact opposite. Solely focusing on eating doesn’t just help you digest your food better, it also makes you a more efficient worker for any other tasks.”
My challenge for you this week would be to try to take a real lunch break at least three days in a row and see if it helps you become more productive.
Here are some things to keep in mind while committing to your lunch break:
1. Don’t look at it as a punishment.
You don’t have to sit in a corner, facing the wall. Look at this as an exercise for mindfulness that will help boost productivity once you return.
2. You can make it fun if you want to!
Ask a friend out to lunch this week or grab lunch with a coworker. If you can, go eat lunch in a park by yourself or eat somewhere you normally wouldn’t. If you like to cook, make something special that you can look forward to.
3. Be mindful of how things change.
Of course, not every study is fact. This method may or may not work for you … but be mindful if you see any changes in your productivity once you start making lunch breaks a priority.
You may feel guilty during this process, but try to push through to see the productive results. Bon Appétit!
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