This article is from Indeed. View their article at the bottom.
Your lunch break can be an essential part of your workday, where you can take a few moments to relax and handle other items outside of work. Whether you work from home or in an office, consider moving away from your desk and engaging in personal activities or relaxing your brain and body. This helps you return to work feeling refreshed, energized and prepared for the remainder of your day. In this article, we review common things you can do during your lunch break.
Why use your lunch break to focus on other things?
It’s important to use your lunch break to focus on other tasks because it gives your brain a break from focusing on work-related items. This can allow you to feel more energized, productive and ready to complete tasks when you return to your desk. When you finish your meal, consider taking 15 to 30 minutes to focus on your personal responsibilities, perform a relaxing activity, organize your thoughts or enjoy the fresh air. This might increase your chances of handling your afternoon tasks with a more positive mood and energy.
10 things to do on your lunch break
Whether you’d like to remain productive or prefer to relax during your time away from work, here are common things you can do while on your lunch break:
1. Go for a run or complete a workout
Exercising can be an effective way to reduce your stress levels and re-energize your mind. Try finishing a quick 15-30 minute run or workout and eat a healthy meal afterward. Working out during this break can also save you time from exercising before or after work, so you can use that additional time to complete other tasks.
2. Perform breathing exercises
Try to find an area nearby where you can sit in silence for a few minutes, like your car or an empty conference room. Spend a few minutes meditating or conducting breathing exercises to relax your mind and body. This can help clear your head and increase your focus levels when you return to your work. You can direct this new energy and focus on any complex tasks you might face in the afternoon. This allows you to approach these challenges with a more positive mindset and relaxed attitude.
3. Log your thoughts
An effective way to reduce stress levels or overwhelmed feelings is to write about your thoughts in your journal. Take time to note any elements of your day that you’d like to mentally work through by drafting them in your notebook. You can use journal prompts to engage in a creative activity or write about the events of your day and your anticipations for the remainder of the day.
4. Build your schedule
If you have a calendar or planner, you can use it to schedule the rest of your day or week. Note any to-do list items you’d like to complete for the week and create a tentative schedule that includes these tasks. Consider starting this at the beginning of the week and continuing to update your schedule during the remainder of your daily lunch breaks. You can update it accordingly to account for shifted priorities or unexpected tasks that appear throughout the week. This helps you feel more prepared and aware of the tasks for the upcoming week.
5. Plan your meals for the week
To ensure you eat healthy during lunch and dinner, consider using your lunch break to plan out the rest of your meals for that week. This also allows you to save time and money by deciding what to eat and purchasing a last-minute meal during your break. You can also build your grocery list and shop that evening for healthy ingredients for upcoming meals.
6. Read a book
Taking time to read a book during your lunch break can help relieve your mind of any workplace issues in an educational way. You can read inspirational books that help you improve in your career or those that motivate you to better your personal life. Fiction books can also be a great way to relax and entertain yourself before returning to work.
7. Listen to a podcast
Consider grabbing headphones and listening to a podcast or audiobook. You can choose a funny or fictional podcast for entertainment or one that inspires you to improve in your work or personal life. There are also podcasts that provide you with motivational quotes or affirmations to put you in a positive mood for the rest of the day. You can also listen to one that teaches you a valuable skill, like learning a new language.
8. Enjoy the outdoors
If a majority of your role comprises sitting at your desk, it can be beneficial to spend time outdoors. The fresh air can boost your energy levels and clear your mind. Consider sitting outside while you eat or going for a walk around the building or neighborhood. This increases your chances of returning to work with an improved and engaged mood.
9. Run errands or do chores
If you prefer to remain productive during your lunch break, you can spend it completing your personal tasks, like running errands. You can shop for groceries, pick up your dry cleaning or attend medical appointments. This saves you time from completing these items before or after work. If you work from home, consider doing chores like the laundry or dishes if you prefer to remain efficient and productive during your break.
10. Spend time with colleagues
Socialize with others during your lunch break by asking your colleagues to eat with you. Consider sitting in the break room and talking with other coworkers on their lunch breaks as well. This helps you establish stronger relationships with coworkers, which can make it easier to collaborate with them on work-related projects. It can also allow you and your team members to feel more comfortable around each other, essentially making your workday more enjoyable.
“10 Things for You to Do While on Your Lunch Break.” Indeed Career Guide, 16 Sept. 2021, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/things-to-do-on-your-lunch-break.