Too often we find ourselves exhausted throughout the work day and we end up spending our lunch break to simply take a break from our work. Now don’t get me wrong, that is the intention of a break, and there is nothing wrong with taking a mental health break. I just wanted to provide some motivating suggestions on how you may be able to use your lunch break more efficiently.
- Personal Development
I am a huge promoter of personal development. Instead of watching Netflix, or talking on your phone you could be listening to a podcast, reading an informational book, or taking an online training class. I have personally done all of these things on my lunch break and I find doing so to be a great motivational pick me up during work hours. Doing this can also help you stay focused on accomplishing your personal goals.
In today’s world, we should always be striving to make more connections, put ourselves out there, and meet more people. Being open to new relationships and experiences is a huge factor when you are trying to grow professionally. Since I run a side business in addition to this blog and my full time job, I find networking to be very important in helping my personal businesses grow.
LinkedIn is a great professional networking tool that I highly recommend using. Other ways you can network is to have a business lunch with co-workers or members of a different company, try ordering from a new lunch spot or coffee shop, or be active on your other social media accounts. There are tons of ways to meet new people, especially during your lunch hour.
Many of us find ourselves sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day or more. Now, having worked various other jobs I know this is not the case for everyone and some jobs require you to be on your feet a lot. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to try and improve your overall health during your lunch hour.
The easiest way would be to start walking as this does not require you to change or use equipment. You can do this around the office, or outdoors. At an old job there was a park nearby and I used to spend 30 minutes a day walking around there. You can also try going up and down the stairs a few times or using some light hand weights you keep in your desk. Just don’t get too sweaty if you’re in a job where you need to look professional at all times. Use the treadmill in the company gym if offered. This is actually a thing for smaller companies too as my old building had a gym we could use for free. Yoga is another fantastic option. Your body will thank you if you spend a little time taking care of it and may free up some of your after work hours as well.
- Increase Your Side Income
If you are working towards your financial freedom, you are most likely working side jobs or developing a business on the side of your full time job. Use your lunch break to work on building your side income or grow your business during this time. Surveys are just one way you could be working on increasing your side income. I have been testing various survey sites such as Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks, and American Consumer Opinion. I highly recommend all three of these. Plus if you sign up through my link for Inbox Dollars you will instantly start with $5.00 in your account!
- Meal Plan
Using your lunch hour to make a plan for your upcoming meals and what you may need to get at the store can save you lots of time, stress, and money! I have been planning our meals every 2 weeks and shopping twice a month. Since I have been doing this during my lunch break, I am able to immediately run to the store after work on my selected day. I have also been able to reduce our grocery budget by around $100 and no longer have the stress of trying to come up with a plan after dinner which cuts back on eating out. I also find it to be rather fun and have been using recipes I find on Pinterest like crazy!
- Schedule Appointments
Using your break to schedule necessary appointments such as doctor’s visits, pet appointments, or meetings at your bank can really save a lot of your time after work. Not to mention, it’s much more convenient as many of the places you need to schedule an appointment at could be closed when you get off work.
- Educate Yourself
Instead of using your break to do what many consider to be “fun” or “relaxing” I try to mix my breaks up with some educational time. Keeping yourself informed of global events, or local news is very important. If you are browsing the web for news articles you can also come upon some great opportunities. One example of this was when I was reading Yahoo! News and I discovered a University in Arizona that was offering full rides to 200 incoming MBA students. I would never have known about this opportunity if I didn’t utilize my lunch break to educate myself.
We all know work can be stressful. Hopefully, you have found a job that makes you happy or that doesn’t cause you so much stress, but if you haven’t, using your break to meditate could be really helpful. Mental health is really important and being aware of when you are reaching your limit is key to being able to stay productive and positive throughout your day. If you don’t meditate you could even just take a few minutes to sit quietly away from others and reflect upon your day.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is was it best for you. Even using 10 minutes a day can cause tremendous positive changes in your personal life. Don’t be afraid to mix it up during your breaks, and try to have fun doing these things!
What do you do during your work breaks to stay productive and motivated? Feel free to share below!