Do you generally spend your “lunch break” scoffing down a takeaway meal at your desk whilst responding to emails and catching up on social media on your smartphone? If your answer is yes, it’s time to make a change. According to experts, your lunch hour is critical for keeping your productivity and energy levels up, while working through it can be detrimental to your success. “Your lunch hour is your chance to get refocused, reenergised, and refuelled (literally) for the rest of your day,” Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of The Humour Advantage told Business Insider Australia.
“Successful people treat it like the half-time show at a football game—an opportunity to regroup and consider how they’re going to play out the rest of their day.” Convinced yet?
Business Insider Australia has collated a list of the things that successful people do in their lunch breaks to inspire you to spend your time wisely, productively, and with purpose. No excuses. Read on to find out how.
Successful people use their break as an opportunity to network and meet new people. Aim to have lunch with a different person in your office or in your industry at least once a week. “You are guaranteed to learn something new about your organisation or industry, and may even make some new mentors and friends in the process,” Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, told Business Insider Australia.
They get organised
“Take advantage of this short break from work by making a to-do list for your personal life—or even to cross a few items off that list,” Kahn says. “Feeling like things are in control and organised in your life outside of work will free up mental energy and reduce stress levels to perform better professionally.”
Not only does a good midday workout boost energy levels and increase focus, but it creates a sense of accomplishment for the second half of the day. “A regular workout schedule, in addition to promoting good health, has been shown to reduce stress and increase focus,” Kahn explains.
Rather than catch-up on emails and finalise reports, do as the successful ones do and catch up on your favourite websites and blogs, or read a book. Reading helps you focus, offers a mental break from work, and can give you some much-needed solitude within a busy working day.
They do things they enjoy
Think catching up for lunch with a friend, a spot of shopping, or taking a stroll through the park. Although it may not be possible to spend every lunch break doing something fun and entertaining, try to squeeze it in at least once a week. According to New York-based executive coach Dale Kurow, “All of these activities will be like mini-vacations and help refresh you and completely change the channel. You will go back to the office with a different mindset.”