To all freelancers, developers, managers and bosses: I know in the business world, time is precious. Every single second is needed to get closer to the business goal. But let me tell you one thing, spending all day crossing off to-do list tasks can cause you to make not that optimal decisions for your company. Even though you feel guilty stepping away from work, it will help you make smarter choices and also boosts your productivity.
Therefore, lunch is a great break that you have every day, which when used correctly, can improve your work- and personal life. Giving your brain a pause and also a distance to the work you are doing helps to start with a clear mind in the afternoon.
Accordingly, do not stay at your desk during break watching Youtube videos, reading emails or browsing through your Twitter feed. Instead socialize with your co-workers. It is important to have a good relationship with your colleagues. Self-employed individuals also can take time during the break to get in touch with a friend to just see how their day is going.
Combine the socializing with eating a healthy lunch, which gives you the boost to push through the end of the day. Especially brain-loving foods, like fish, whole grains, carrots, blueberries, nuts and dark chocolate will activate your powerhouse.
Even if you want to lose weight do not skip on eating a midday meal. Better compensate with a moderate exercise. It is proven that a little work out in the afternoon is the best time: the physical performance is highest and the risk of injury lowest. The benefits include reduction of stress, refreshed mind, better mood, increase in confidence and self-esteem. Generally exercising makes you feel better about your own body, also without any visible changes. If finding time for a workout during lunch break seems impossible for you, just do a 7-minute high-intensity workout.
If you are not the workout type in general, spend your time outdoors for a mid-day walk. It does not have to be a long stroll, just a few steps around your work-area are great to destress and fill your lungs with fresh air. If you are lucky and you work close to a park or any other green, natural space you will notice that your attention span improves in the long-term just by being outdoors.
Outdoors can also include to go to a café or restaurant during your short break. The ambient change is quiet beneficial for your creativity and lets you renew your focus. To expand your lunch, you can also move your “office” to one of these places for the afternoon. It is proven, that you check off more tasks on your to-do list if you are not in your same old workspace all day. And with the help of work management tools like acteamo, remote working is not a problem anymore.
Another great tip is to try a digital detox during the duration of the lunch break to give your brain time to recharge. Most of us are sitting in front of our laptops, starring at the desktop and responding to calls on our smartphone up to 8 hours a day (most of us even more). Leaving your electronical stuff out of your pockets keeps away the stress for at least the extent of your lunch time.
Listening to your internal body clock also helps you making room for new information in your memory. Around 2 p.m. you will feel a natural dip in energy, which is the perfect time to grab a quick 20 min nap. Sleeping helps to clear out all senseless information that accumulated during the day. Anything important gets moved to the long-term memory, which means your performance after the nap should improve. But keep in mind that you should not nap longer than 20 minutes to avoid the post sleep grogginess.
Lunch breaks should not be an option but a necessity to promote a healthy life as well as a productive workplace. The key is to find the best activity that fits your needs and schedule, because at the end it is all about “Do what you love”.