5 ways to make the most of your lunch hour

As anyone who has ever worked in a particularly busy environment will know, the lunch break is often the first thing to go when you are focused on a particular goal and pressed for time.

However, it’s important to give yourself the occasional break and take time to clear your head, not to mention have something to eat. What’s more, stopping work for lunch doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as something that is unproductive.

Here are five ways taking a lunch break can contribute to your working efficiency and productivity:

1.. Getting some perspective on work

If you are wrestling with a particular issue at work or searching for a solution to a tricky problem, sometimes the most effective strategy can be to get out of the workplace and give yourself some headspace.

You could find that taking a lunch break gives you the mental freedom and perspective you need to overcome professional challenges. Whether it’s in a nearby park or waiting in line at a coffee shop, inspiration can strike in the most unlikely of places.

2. Building relationships with colleagues

Successful businesses are often built on relationships, with teams of people working collaboratively and supporting one another as they drive towards shared goals.

Taking lunch breaks with your colleagues can help you to get to know each other and feel comfortable with one another outside of work. This, in turn, provides the foundations for healthy, productive relationships in the workplace, where people feel at ease communicating and raising any questions, issues or ideas they might have.

3. Eating properly

You can’t expect to perform efficiently at work if you aren’t eating properly, so use your lunch hour as a dedicated time where you make sure you are putting the right things into your body.

Look for nutritious foods that will keep your energy up for the rest of the day, such as salmon, bananas, kale or plain Greek yoghurt mixed with berries or nuts. There are also plenty of healthy snacks that can keep you going throughout the day, like almonds and pistachios.

4. Getting exercise

Much like eating healthily, getting your heart pumping and your muscles working can make a huge contribution to your efficiency at work. If your body is healthy, your brain will be able to function at its optimum level.

Exercise – even if it’s just going for a brisk walk in the nearest open space – produces endorphins, hormones that make you feel positive and ready to take on your next challenge with confidence.

5. Just taking a break!

There is a lot to be said for just allowing yourself to switch off from work for a little while. As difficult as it might seem when you have mountains of work to get through, you need to take a break to avoid burning yourself out mentally and physically.

Overworking leads to sub-standard results in the long run and raises the possibility of silly mistakes that will need to be rectified, eating up more of your precious time.

Allow yourself a short break at lunchtime, and you might be surprised by the positive impact it has on your mind, body and productivity.


Posted by Simone Reid-Jones

Image courtesy of iStock/shironosov

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