Thursday, August 23, 2012

3 Ways to Use Your Lunch Break Effectively

As you proceed through your working day and deal with whatever task comes across your desk top, many things can happen. You may be tired, stressed and hungry, counting down the minutes until that precious half an hour or 45 minutes for lunch. Once it finally arrives you’ll wolf down a sandwich, a packet of crisps and back to work it is.

But surely there’s a better way to spend the time? Well, it turns out that the answer is yes.

1. Relax during your breaks
You’ve dragged yourself out of bed, commuted and gotten on with your work. As the day’s gone on you can feel the stress and tiredness building up behind it all. Your lunch break is the perfect time to remedy the situation.
Depending on what relaxes you when you’re at home and what your office environment is like you may decide to alter my suggestions but here’s the basics.
Once your break starts, save all of your work and put your computer into standby mode. If you have a portable music player like an iPod, mp3 player, iPhone etc. Then whack on the headphones, choose music that relaxes you and retreat into your own world. Take your shoes off, recline back in your chair, read a book. Hell, you could even sit on the floor and meditate for a while if you like. The important thing is to let go of all the stress and head back to work reenergised and motivated for the tasks ahead.

2. Buy more free time for later
Your lunch break is generally a designated time of the day, a small period of free time unfortunately sandwiched between two blocks of solid work. Getting personal tasks done before and after work may seem unappealing because of how tired you’ll generally be, so use this time to do anything you need, such as phone calls to the bank, dealing with estate agents/teachers/landlords and so on so that you can relax once you get home.
For those of you with longer lunch breaks and a close gym, this is the perfect time to get some exercise in. Depending on how close your nearest gym is, 45 minutes is more than enough time to exercise, shower and get back to work.
Getting all of this out of the way will mean that you’ll have used time you would have spent idling around the office and bought time for relaxation and personal time once you walk in your front door.

3. Eat some lunch!
This might seem obvious, but you’ll have noticed I haven’t mentioned it yet. Make sure that whatever you do with your lunch break you eat some lunch and eat well. Vary your diet through the week to keep your body alert and healthy while you work. Generally you’ll be sedentary for most of the day and it’s important to take care of your body even then.
Eating right can also give you the energy to focus on work and plough through your tasks, making the day pass much quicker.
An idea for those of you in large offices is to form a cooking club. If you gather another four people or so then you can take it in turns to bring in a lunch each day. Making lunch for five is not much more effort than making your own and you’ll only have to do it for one day a week. It’s a great way of putting in little effort, getting a home-made meal everyday and varying your diet.

The most important thing to remember is to manage your time effectively! Make sure you eat during your lunch break, but also leave room for whatever else you want to get done. You’ll notice that lunch breaks are far more enjoyable by following these steps and you may even feel better overall too.
image credit: arkworld