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12 Lunch Break Ideas That Increase Your Productivity

12 Lunch Break Ideas That Increase Your Productivity

If you want to increase your productivity, don’t skip your lunch break. Lunch is a great block of time that you have everyday, and if used incorrectly, it’s another hour you’ve wasted; however, if used right, it can give your life a boost. Check out these 12 lunch break ideas that will charge up your life every day.

1.  Work on a side gig.

Your lunch break can be a great time to get a jump on work outside of…work.

2.  Read about your industry.

If you want to dominate your next meeting, use your lunch break to brush up on your field. You can read articles about new technology, industry leaders, or future projections. After lunch, when your boss needs ideas or suggestions, you’ll have something to reference.

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3.  Brainstorm.

Do you have a mental block on your latest assignment? You should try brainstorming. Just take a few moments during your break to open your mind and write down every idea you have that’s related to your new project–no matter how implausible you think it is. A little brainstorming can lead you in amazing new directions

4.  Eat with coworkers.

It’s important to have good relationships with your coworkers, because they can make or break your work life. By bonding with your coworkers on a personal level you will feel more comfortable going to them for help or just a laugh, so grab a bite to eat and start bonding.

5.  Run errands.

If you need to pay bills, find a plumber, or get a quick hair cut, your lunch break is a great time to get that done. Plus, you free up some precious after work hours.

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6.  Burn off some steam.

Go for a walk, a run, or maybe go to the gym if you have time. Using your break to workout can help you come back refreshed and energized.

7.  Make phone calls.

One of the most productive things you can do at lunch is to make phone calls because you don’t have to waste any time driving anywhere. So go ahead, call your Mom, call an old friend, your partner, or return that phone call you’ve been dreading.

8.  Make plans.

Do you feel like your life is out of control?  If so, you can use your lunch break to make plans for the rest of the week. For example, on Monday you could plan out your dinners for the week, on Tuesday you could plan your weekend activities, on Wednesday you could plan your finances for the next week, on Thursday plan your schedule for the upcoming week, and on Friday try and tie up loose ends and plan for upcoming birthdays and celebrations of the people in your life.

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9.  Work on relationships.

If you want to feel more connected to your partner or children, take a few seconds out of you lunch break to send someone you care about a text, picture, or email.  It only takes a few seconds, but it can make you feel more connected to your loved ones.

10.  Social media time.

Spending a few minutes a day on social media can make you feel like you’re an active participant.  Try this: spend one minute on Facebook “liking” statuses, spend another minute on Twitter re-tweeting a couple tweets, then upload a picture to every social media account you have. Congrats! You’ve been on social media today.

11.  Fuel up.

Make sure you’re eating what you need to get through the afternoon.  If you need a quick burst of energy, eating fruit or drinking caffeine will get you through a couple hours, and if you’ve got a long day ahead, make sure you chow down on some protein.

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12.  Rest.

We all need a break at work sometimes, and lunch time is the perfect time to relax. Plus, taking some time to clear your mind can make you more productive after lunch.

Now, take a few seconds and think about what area of your life needs an increase of productivity. Then, find a quick activity that will impact that area of your life.  Stick to it, and you’ll be shocked at what your lunch break can do for your life.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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