You might think this a very trivial topic for a blog post but you would be surprised at the number of people that don’t take their lunch break every day.
Only one in three people step away from their desk to take their lunch break every day. Are you one of those two people that can be found snacking all over the keyboard and answering the phone with a greasy hand?
Of course, there are days when I am ‘too busy’ to take my own lunch break or sometimes calls overlap around that time, but where we can, we must take our lunch break.
Below are the reasons I can think of to take that hour for yourself, but if you have any more let me know!
1. You aren’t paid for your lunch break
This is the case in most companies – for that hour dedicated to your lunch break? Your company does not pay you for it. This means you have 60 minutes to spend how you like, away from your work.
If you are one of those people that likes to clock in at 9.00am on the dot and clock out as soon as the hour hand strikes 5.00pm then I’m sure you’re already taking full advantage of those 60 minutes afforded to your lunch break.
If you’re working yourself to the bone, starting hours earlier and finishing hours later than you’re scheduled time, then you definitely deserve to take your lunch break – even if you only take half, take something!
2. You deserve a break
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER! Not only will it do your eyes the world of good, but it will also do your posture and brain a huge favour by just taking a break away from the screen.
I can bet you’re a hard worker. So guess what? You deserve a break every now and again. You deserve a break every day. I’ve added a list at the end of this blog post of things you can do during your lunch break, but even if it’s something as simple as listening to a podcast or reading a book, take a break from your emails and computer screen.
Get rid of distractions for an hour and take a break.
3. Go for a walk
Get some fresh air, get your steps in and listen to a podcast, grab a coffee or go to lunch with a friend. Get outside and breathe in some real air instead of the air from the aircon unit.
Your posture will thank you for it. Sitting sedentary at a desk for eight hours is not good for anybody. If you’re the kind of person that wakes up at the last possible second before work and loves to sit down in front of Netflix once they get home, you would really benefit from stretching your legs during your lunch break.
I’m obsessed with my FitBit and set myself a goal in January to walk 10,000 steps every single day. The small reminder to get up and walk at every ten to the hour really helps for those extra steps. Walk to the water cooler every hour, make a cup of tea or walk around your office for ten minutes.
Get up and move; keep those bones in motion!
4. Be inspired
Stepping away from your desk and going for a walk or talking to other people can allow new ideas to form and inspiration to come to you. If you listen to a podcast on your lunch break, you may be inspired with new ideas for your work project or maybe think about things from a new perspective.
Use your lunch break to meet other colleagues and catch up. Learn what they’re working on, what’s troubling them or what they’ve recently accomplished.
Speaking to other people and learning from their methods could inspire you to change your way of doing things or could inspire a new idea or campaign.
Inspiration is all around you if you can look away from your emails for five minutes.
5. Work on a side-project
For those of you who have a side-project like a blog, a podcast (I just released my first episode yesterday!) or a small business, you could spend those 60 minutes of your lunch break doing some extra work on it.
Since 7 hours of our day are spent working for the man (or woman) we don’t have much free time to spend working on our own projects (unless you get up extra early like me or work late into the night instead), so make the most of those 60 minutes you are afforded and put it back into your business.
6. Feel refreshed
Just stepping away from your computer for ten minutes can help you feel refreshed. Now just think what an entire 60 minutes could do for you!
You’ll feel more motivated, refreshed and come back to your desk feeling like you are ready to attack the afternoon and return with a new mindset to your day.
7. Eat away from your desk
Try not to get into the habit of eating at your desk – you can afford to leave it for all of five minutes!
Enjoy your food, and try not to associate your lunch break with being stuck in front of your screen or going to the nearest cafe/Pret to grab a sandwich and return to your computer screen.
10 things to do on your lunch break
- Listen to a podcast – mine just launched yesterday! Listen here
- Read a PR or career blog
- Take an online course
- Read a great self-help book
- Learn the new trends to watch out for in influencer marketing
- Update your CV or cover letter
- Think about starting a blog
- Read the great email newsletters you have subscribed to
- Write down everything you are grateful for
- Create your own habit tracker to achieve your goals