Even though lunch is often a time to put work on pause and enjoy your meal, sometimes it’s easier to just keep on working. While this may become habit, it’s time to put the “break” back in your lunch break! You’ll be happier and get more work done in the long run. So repeat after me: I will not work at lunch anymore! Here are 4 things that will happen if you stop working during your lunch break.
1. You’ll be more productive throughout the day.
Research has shown that taking short breaks throughout the day can make you more productive. It snaps you out of your intense concentration and gives your brain a well-deserved rest. If you work in front of a computer all day (as most of us do nowadays), taking a short break will also give your eyes a rest from the glare of your monitor. And fueling your body with the nutrients it needs will make for fewer hunger-related productivity dips later in the day. When we’re hungry, we tend to get distracted more easily and make more mistakes. To avoid that, eat a healthy, balanced lunch away from your desk. The walk to the break room will also increase productivity, as physical movement wakes you up and gets your blood flowing.
2. Your relationship with coworkers will improve.
If you’re never taking a lunch break in the break room with your coworkers, your opportunities to hang out with them are severely limited. Yes, you interact with them in a professional capacity but that’s very different from sitting around a table and chatting during lunch. Your coworkers will perceive you more as someone that they want to interact with if you join them. If you’re never around, it’s possible that they think you don’t like them. Show your coworkers you care, and maybe make some new friends along the way. You can even start a lunch club in your office to get everyone together at the same time.
3. You’ll be happier.
Even if you absolutely love your job, sitting at the same desk and working all day with no breaks is sure to make your happiness decrease. Taking a lunch break, even a short one, will allow you to refocus yourself. Whether you chat with coworkers or sit outside alone with your thoughts, this will make you much happier with your job in the long run. After all, routine is nice but too much routine can make us unhappy. To really switch things up, grab a few coworkers and try a new cafe or deli near your office. This will get all of you outside and moving around, which is always nice after a morning of sitting at your desk. It will also provide a new experience, and if you do your research, a delicious meal.
4. You can focus on your lunch.
Eating while you work can take all the pleasure away from your actual lunch. If this is the case, you definitely need to step away from your desk. But maybe the problem lies in your food. Try spicing up your lunches with productivity super foods to help both your mind and your tastebuds. Foods like fish, nuts, dark chocolate, and carrots can all contribute to a more productive afternoon, and they all taste great. Experiment with different flavors and combinations. You can even try making all of your lunches on the weekends and pre packing them to bring to work throughout the week. This will save you time and effort when you’re busiest on weeknights. When you’re eating, try to focus on the flavors of the meal you’re eating and what you like about it. Even thinking a little bit about the food while you’re eating will make it a more enjoyable experience.
Featured photo credit: Laura Billings via flickr.com