Why you ~really~ need to stop skipping your lunch break.
Why you really need to stop skipping your lunch break.
Somehow, we seem to have driven ourselves into a culture whereby taking your, god forbid, full lunch hour, can make you feel like you're just not working hard enough. With everyone else working away at their desks, you can end up worrying that your boss, and your colleagues, think that you're slacking. Well, here at GIW, we'd like to call bullshit on this and let you know why you should enjoy every minute that you're entitled to for lunch without feeling the slightest bit guilty.
You could be working a whole 12 days for free.
Imagine this; your boss approaches you on a Friday afternoon, and tells you that you're not going to be paid for any of your work for the last two and a half weeks. You'd probably have a decent case to take them to HR! However, by working through your lunch break every day you could be voluntarily doing exactly this.
A study by Workthere.com showed that in the UK, we only take an average of 34 minutes of our hour long lunch breaks, chosing to work through the rest of the 26 minutes. Refinery29 have done the calculations for us, and this equates to working a whole 12 days extra a year.. for free.
You can achieve more.
I don't think this will be breaking news to many people, but countless studies have shown how we are much more productive when taking regular breaks.
Taking a break in the middle of the day can do wonders for your productivity. You'll have more energy, more motivation and you'll be able to concentrate on the task at hand so much better.
You're given a lunch hour for a reason. Make the most of it and come back to your desk refreshed for the afternoon, ready to prioritise again and be your best self!
I am sure you don't need us to tell you that eating the right foods can increase your productivity, and this is why taking the time to eat a good lunch can do wonders. Fish, nuts and seeds, avacado and even a little dark chocolate are some of the best foods you can eat for some extra brain power for the afternoon
Less screen time.
Step. away. from. your. computer.
Spending 8+ hours a day with your eyes glued to a screen can have some pretty negative effects on your physical health. By taking some time away from your desk, you may find yourself experiencing fewer headaches, symptoms of eye strain and possibly even lower back pain if you've been sitting incorrectly for too long.
So, how can we make the most of our lunch hours?
Fresh air & exercise.
Getting a breath of fresh air and going for a walk can be fabulous for your mind and body. It can improve your concentration and reduce stress, to give you more motivation to return to your desk. As well as the gentle exercise, a little vitamin D can really boost your mood too.
Read a book.
If you don't fancy heading outside and wondering how you can fill your time after you've eaten, your lunch hour is the perfect time to find a quiet corner of the office and get stuck into a good book. Reading is also a great way to carry on learning and improving your career prospects away from your desk.
Catch up with a friend.
Whether that's on the phone or going for coffee, catching up with a friend is not only another lovely way to boost your mood, to get you away from your desk and get you some fresh air, but it'll also give you something to look forward to for the rest of the week.
Run some errands.
Pick up those toiletries you've been meaning to grab for a while. Nip to the post office & collect a parcel. Run to the bank and pay-in that cheque your Grandma gave to you for your birthday. If you're lucky enough to have an office in, or near to a city, you'll be amazed at how much you can get done in an hour. It'll also free up the time you'd normally spend doing this stuff in the evening and weekends, so you can fill them doing something much more fun!
It can be really hard to switch off, but trying to do any of these things above will hopefully stop you thinking, worrying and stressing about work for an hour or so. Venting to your colleagues over your lunch can feel like a good thing, but we all need to switch off and escape the work-place pressures at some point!