How To Leverage Your Lunch Hour & Become More Productive

America has become a work-obsessed society that tends to shun the notion of taking a lunch. As a result, approximately two-thirds of American employees report feeling fatigue related to job stress.

Most employees quickly eat their lunch at their desks and do not take time for themselves to recharge and finish personal affairs, which consequently results in a scheduled weekend. Psychologists have found that employees who take their daily lunch are able to re-prioritize and manage their time at and away from the office more effectively.

Successful people leverage lunchtime, whether its thirty minutes or an hour. There are countless ways employees can balance their working and personal life during lunch.

Find Ways to Relax at the Office

For the most part, taking a break means you shouldn’t work. Whether you’ve got 15 minutes or an hour, your lunch break is a designated chunk of time for you to unwind and let go of the pressures of work.

Sometimes all you need to do is just enjoy a meal and come back when you’re done. If you really need to clear your head, rest up, and relax, however, there are a few other things you can do.

Meditation is one of them. Clearing your head can be enough to remove any stress you built up during the morning and help you approach your work in the afternoon more clearly.

Your lunch break is also a good time for a power nap. While the term may make it sound like snake oil, science actually backs up the efficacy of the power nap—if you do it right. 20-30 minutes is generally the right length for most people, at that fits wonderfully into your break. Additionally, the best time of day is between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding the time either.

Use Your Lunch Breaks to Buy You More Free Time Later

Although actually taking a break is the most important, you can still get things done without adding stress. The important thing to remember is that you’re using your time to do things that help you. Even if that involves a bit of work in the process, doing that work during lunch can buy you more free time when you get home.

A lunch break can be a fantastic time to get in a little bit of exercise. Obviously you can’t go running in business attire, but if you have 45 minutes to an hour during your break you can use that time to hit the gym, shower, and get back. One of the biggest deterrents to exercising is that you often have to do it early in the morning or after you’re done with work. In both cases you’re generally going to be pretty tired and, as a result, it can be hard to find the motivation to get in shape. If you take care of this during your lunch break you won’t have to find time outside of work and you’ll earn yourself some extra energy during the day. Exercise can be time consuming and you probably won’t have much time to have an extravagant lunch, but eating while you work won’t seem as bad if you were able to spend a good chunk of your work day doing something good for yourself.

Don’t Forget to Eat!

When you’re trying to use your lunch breaks effectively, it can be easy to forget that their actual purpose is to eat. One way to make lunch breaks more fun and ensure you have some good food on a regular basis is to start a cooking club at work. If you can find four other people, each of you can cook a meal for everyone else one day of the week. It’s about as easy to cook for five people as it is for one, and every day you’ll have a home-cooked meal while only putting in 20% of the effort.

When employees take a 30 to 60 minute lunch every workday, they can improve their mental and physical wellness while tackling career objectives at the same time.

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Article Source: Life Hacker