How are you currently spending your lunch break? Do you even take one? With many of us working longer hours and cutting our breaks to get more done, we are putting ourselves at risk of burning out.
Our lunch break is a key time to re-fuel and re-energise before hitting the ground running again in the afternoon. If you’re worried that taking a break will ruin your flow and focus, think again. Taking breaks is proven to boost your motivation, productivity and focus.
In order to make the most of your lunch break, we’ve got some recommendations on how to make it more productive.
Eat a good lunch
While this may sound obvious, eating a good lunch will have a big impact on your energy levels and focus for the rest of the day. Your brain needs fuel, nutrients and vitamins to work well so don’t skip over lunch.
Foods such as fish, fruit and veg and dark chocolate are scientifically proven to boost brain power, so try to include these types of food in your lunchtime meal.
Hang out with your colleagues
Having strong relationships with your colleagues will help you to achieve more and progress at work. Plus, having a good chat at lunch can improve your mood and relieve stress.
While you won’t want to be forcing conversation, just taking a couple of minutes to discuss life outside of work, common interests, or what’s going on in the world will help you to build good relationships. You’ll find that you enjoy your job and day a lot more in general if you get along with your co-workers.
Take a walk
Taking some time away from your desk and (weather-permitting) getting some fresh air is an excellent way to boost your productivity in the afternoon. You can get your blood pumping and have some peace and quiet before getting back to it.
Having a change of scenery is particularly important as this will stimulate your brain. If you have any green spaces nearby, this may be a good place to go and you can listen to some music as well.
Fit in some exercise
Exercising is a great way to reinvigorate your focus and alertness. It also releases endorphins which improve your mood and your productivity.
According to research, your muscle strength is also at its highest between 2 pm and 6 pm so squeezing in a workout during your afternoon is also beneficial if you want to reap physical rewards too.
Bringing it all together
Taking breaks during your workday is much more beneficial than skipping them to “get more done”. A lunch break is particularly important for re-fuelling and re-energising for the afternoon so make the most of it!