Business First | 7 ways to make your lunch break work for you

7 ways to make your lunch break work for you

22 Feb 2017 –– Tips & Advice
7 ways to make your lunch break work for you

What would you do with an extra 19 days in the year? Jump at the chance? You may be in luck. By chaining yourself to your desk and staying in the office, working through your lunch, you're effectively clocking up 19 days' overtime a year. If you waste it, you're throwing that valuable time down the drain.

So, now you've been given the gift of time, what are you going to do with it?

Here are a few ideas.

1. Listen

Grab your headphones and get stuck into an audio book. Whether it's fact or fiction, it will aid relaxation and stimulate different parts of your brain than your 9-5 office job does. Try to escape your working environment and enjoy it in the great outdoors, but if you can't get away from the office then fear not, the headphones should at least deter colleagues from approaching you during your much-needed break from office life.

2. Talk

Call your partner, mum or friend for a catch up. Chat to colleagues, or get to know other business contacts who share your office space. Communal kitchens and breakout spaces are great for networking, so make the most of the extra facilities your business centre offers.

It's tempting to be anti-social, but a screen break, coupled with a good old natter, will refuel you much better mentally for the afternoon ahead.

3. Organise

Pay bills online, call HMRC to sort that tax query, do your online food shop, plan the week's meals, arrange childcare, set up a date to meet friends, book your next holiday, write lists of jobs and errands.

Clearing your cluttered mind will help you to focus with renewed vigour when you return to work and help you tackle that to-do list.

4. Move

An hour is plenty of time to work up a sweat on a run, plus many gyms now offer lunch break length classes to blow away the cobwebs.

Taking a walk may not make you sweat, but it will definitely burn off calories. Meanwhile, the fresh air relaxes the mind, helping you to unwind from a stressful morning in the office and revive yourself for that afternoon of back-to-back meetings.

5. Pamper

Grab a manicure, treat yourself to a massage or schedule that haircut you've been struggling to fit in. You'll return to the office reinvigorated - not to mention, saving yourself precious weekend time.

6. Learn

Download a language app and spend your free time brushing up on vocab. Little and often is the ideal way to practice a new language - so an hour a day fits perfectly.

Maybe you have a burning desire to expand your knowledge, learn a new skill or take your career in a different direction. If that's the case, sign up to a distance learning course or an evening class and use your lunch hour to complete assignments, work through your reading list or revise for tests. Physically, you may still be sitting in your office, but your mind can be on an adventure.

7. Eat

It can be easy for some people to simply forget to refuel for the afternoon ahead during a busy working day. Office life can be demanding and we all need the right nutrition to energise us to get through the working day.

Fuel your body and brain with something nutritious and you'll boost your afternoon's productivity. Just make sure you steer clear of junk food and sugary stuff to avoid the afternoon slump.

Whatever you do, make sure you use it wisely.