Five Ways to Be More Productive During Your Lunch Hour
If you’ve been paying attention to any of my other blog posts or my website, then you already know that work/life balance is of particular importance to me. We are way more productive when we have breaks. I have a very strong bias that we should all make sure we take a lunch break every day.
But even when we do, many of us scarf down our lunch and head back to the office after 10 minutes, because there is so much to do.
Screw that. You have a right and a responsibility to eat your lunch and take a break from your work. The Lunch Break is more about just eating some food. It’s about regenerating and preparing for the rest of your work day. Which, in turn, makes us all more productive.
So if your current practice has been to run across the street to Mickey D’s, grab a Big Mac and head back to your desk, I have a few other ideas to help make your lunch hour productive, helpful, and fun!
But first and foremost – try to bring your lunch as often as you can. Planning your lunches ahead of time and knowing already what you are going to eat makes this a much more streamlined process – you’re less likely to venture across the street for that burger! And, you’re probably eating healthier and saving money that way, too!
Okay, here we go:
1. Work Your Side Hustle
Who doesn’t have a side hustle these days? Even if you just blog for fun, you can take some time to work on this. Eat your meal slowly for 10-15 minutes – depending on how much time you have for lunch – and then close your office door and update your website. Draft your next blog post. Create an idea for your next online product. Do a Facebook Live and talk about something you are working on. Even just an extra 15-20 minutes every other day working on your home business or side hustle can help you get ahead of the game and save time after work for other things. This is a classic way to be more productive with your side gig.
2. Engage in a hobby or task you can’t do at home (or don’t have time for)
I still do this a few days a week! My husband does not like any of the TV shows that I like. Which is unfortunate because that means I can only watch my shows when he’s not home or…aha..during my lunch hour 🙂 At my office, we have a lovely break room with a fridge, comfy chairs and sofas, and a dining table. Plenty of room to hang out, eat your food, and watch an episode of “THE KILLING” or “HOUSE OF CARDS” on your iPad. In addition to catching up on my shows, I also use this time to work on whatever knitting project I have going on. Sometimes it’s even two or three knitting projects. I love these lunch break days because I know that I’m doing something completely selfish (in a good way) for myself and then my hubby and I can do things we both enjoy in our free time together.
What does this have to do with productivity? You still need to have some selfish time to clear your head – and engaging in this way can lead to a more productive afternoon.
I used to be a walking commuter when I lived just one mile from my office. In those days, I walked everywhere. And I would also walk at lunch. The full “block” around my campus was exactly 1.25 miles, so I could get in a 20-25 minute walk and still have time to eat a salad slowly and read a book. Even if you can only walk for 5 or 10 minutes, you are still moving your body and getting some steps in. Even better when it’s sunny and you can get a dose of your Vitamin D.
I enjoyed this NY Times Blog article that featured a study which showed that walkers felt more enthusiastic and less tense when walking at lunch as opposed to other times of the day. Pretty cool!
Be a crusader for health and wellness and start a Lunchtime Walking Group at your office. There are probably several other folks at work who would like to take a walking break and eat a salad – and you could further expand your network at your company. OOOH…#3 could be a double-reward task!!
4. Listen (or Watch) Interesting Educational Stuff
I attended an amazing Mastermind Event about a month ago now (geez, has it really been a month?), and one of the takeaways had to do with Audio content being KING right now. I definitely agree. And there are also some killer video things out there too. SO MUCH available online! Lessons on work/life balance, productivity, and wealth management are everywhere!
Now that I’m no longer a walking commuter, one cannot engage in the daily driving commute by music alone. And y’all know I’m all about personal development. And there are SO many amazing books, podcasts and – what? – online courses out there!
Video and Online Courses
I only recently discovered Udemy and Creative Live. Between the two sites there are thousands of online courses running the gamut between financial health to life coach certification to designing a website to starting a podcast to being a better grownup…oh my goodness, I could go on and on.
And these online courses are quite affordable! Many are free, and even more are less than ten bucks. And you “own” them forever, so you can refer back to them again and again.
Last summer I attended my nieces’ high school graduation and was reintroduced to Audible by my sister. I’m so glad that she did! I signed up for another membership and receive two credits a month for audio books. I’m a total junkie and I won’t apologize.
Through Audible I have discovered some amazing authors, amazing stories, and amazing information. Sarah Knight is a favorite – her books are engaging, funny, raw, and vulgar, in all the right ways! She’s an Anti-Guru! You can check out some of her titles here and here and here.
There are so many audiobooks out there and I am quite sure that you can find something that you enjoy!
*SilverPeak Development is part of the Amazon Associates Program. This post does include affiliate links, from which I may earn a small commission.
I’m incredibly proud to share these little gems with you today:
The Newsworthy – I met Erica Mandy at my Mastermind group that I’ve referenced, and her podcast is great! It’s all the news in just 10 minutes or less. You can get episodes Monday through Friday. It’s a great way to get caught up without getting bogged down. For realz.
Food Heals Podcast – I’ve been a fan of these gals for three years now. They talk about plant based living, the healing power of food, and a wealth of other topics. Some are business related (these gals are major Podcast Influencers!) and some are a little woo-woo, which I think is awesome. Check them out here.
Spirit, Purpose, and Energy – Personal Trainer and Empowerment Strategist JJ Flizanes. is a multi-faceted woman who knows a little bit about everything, or so it seems to me. Her shows cover health, fitness, law of attraction, astrology, meditation, and oh-my-god so much more! She’s produced more than four unique podcasts and you can find them all here.
After talking so much about audio and video, I REALLY need to meditate.
And there’s lots of reasons why. Meditation can really ease your day, clear your head, and generally improve your life. Check out this article from HuffPost.
My favorite of these benefits is the increase of self-awareness. Such an increase leads to the ability to read others’ emotions easily, great decision making, an optimistic and positive attitude, and advanced Emotional Intelligence.
Referencing back to podcasts, I have enjoyed a wealth of meditation podcasts over the years as well as meditation apps. My favorite app right now is Insight Timer. It’s completely free, features both guided meditations and music, and allows you to create playlists and choose how long you want to meditate. The options are endless.
In conclusion, there are a ton of things you can engage during the lunch hour to be more productive and get some extra things done, relax, and chill. How do YOU work your lunch hour? Email me and let me know!