7 Reasons Not to Let Work Eat Into Your Lunch Break You should use this precious midday time to nap, run errands, exercise -- oh, and perhaps enjoy a nice meal with a friend or co-worker.
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There's no denying that most entrepreneurs live by jam-packed schedules with something or the other always waiting to be done. This often results in compromising the lunch hour and squeezing some of the pending work into it. After all, it saves you time, doesn't it? And while you may think that you're doing your business a favor by working through or taking very little of what is meant to be your lunch break, the truth could be quite the contrary.
According to psychologist Frank J. Sileo, founder and executive director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement based in Ridgewood, NJ, "A lunch break is important for your physical and mental health." He further states: "Studies have shown that taking a lunch break can reduce stress. Time for relaxation away from work has also been correlated with heightened productivity and creativity."
Wondering how you should be spending your break away from your desk in the most productive way? The following few tips should help you understand how successful entrepreneurs spend their lunch hour.
1. Prioritize lunch.
Eating well is important to keep your mind and body going. So, it only makes sense to set some time apart to actually fill up on those healthy nutrients. Successful entrepreneurs, therefore, make it a point not to schedule important meetings around lunch time and spend a few minutes post-lunch reviewing the day's progress.
Smart entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of eating on time and understand that skipping lunch will not do them any good. They allot sufficient time to lunching, because they realize that not doing so will be detrimental to their wellbeing in the long term -- which will have bearings on the business as well.
2. Eat mindfully.
Smart businessmen understand the importance of being healthy and how it impacts their productivity. They, therefore, eat healthy and mindfully. This means being aware of what you put in your body, eating slowly and savoring every morsel. Such practices keep you healthy, lower your stress levels and enable you to focus in the afternoon.
3. Network effectively.
Effective entrepreneurs use lunch hour to eat and network with others from the industry a couple of times in a week, either as an introduction or to reconnect. They also get away from their work desk and eat at a different location for a change of scene and perspective.
Further, they use this time as an opportunity to bond with the people in their company by heading to lunch with them from time to time and gaining insights on their role in the company's success. Doing so enables them to learn more about their industry and / or organization and find new mentors, partners and friends in the process. You should try it too!
4. Organize well.
Afternoons are a good time to reflect on accomplished tasks to keep the momentum going. If you've been having a rough morning, you may want to take the lunch break and come back to work with renewed energy -- just like thriving business owners do.
The lunch hour is also a good time to organize / reorganize certain tasks from your to-do list. This will give you a sense of control on your life inside and outside the office, which will reduce stress and provide you with the mental energy to perform better.
Did you know that afternoons could be a great time to exercise?
Michael Smolensky, lead author with Lynne Lamberg of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health says: "Physical performance is usually best, and the risk of injury least, from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m."
It would be a good idea to squeeze in some exercise time into your lunch hour. It comes with a plethora of benefits such as better health, reduced stress, improved mood and better confidence. Enterprising businessmen head to the closet gym and keep fit with indoor exercises around lunch hour.
6. Take a catnap.
Great entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of getting sufficient shut-eye time and the effect it has on performance. You will do well by taking a quick nap during your lunch break.
According to sleepfoundation.org, a short nap of 20 to 30 minutes provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with night-time sleep.
7. Run personal errands.
If you're a busy entrepreneur who's never able to find time to complete the tasks on the personal to-do list, then lunch break may bail you out. Successful entrepreneurs use this time to take care of errands which they, otherwise, wouldn't be able to finish during the day. They also make personal calls, meet people and achieve other personal tasks from their list during lunch hour.
While a busy schedule is an unavoidable part of every entrepreneur's life, do not let work eat into your time to eat, rest, exercise and recharge your batteries. Put the above activities on your priority list to boost your productivity -- and thereby ensuring business success and a great life.