Get A Promotion On Your Lunch Break

In a culture where determination, stamina and dogged hard work are consistently portrayed as the basis for success, many believe powering through lunch is the only way to gain a competitive edge at work.

Unfortunately, this line of thinking is fundamentally flawed, as added office hours don’t necessarily result in greater productivity.

Research has consistently shown that those who take lunch breaks have more profitable afternoons than their desk-bound peers.

Because not all lunch hours are created equal, here are seven ways to make the most of yours:  

  1. Exercise: Whether it’s an intensive game of footie or a relaxing afternoon stroll, physical activity boosts productivity. Those who get physical at lunch benefit from improved concentration, additional energy and an increased sense of calmness.  

  2. Eat some brain food: Loading up on sugary foods may be tempting come twelve o’clock, but unfortunately such lunchtime treats won’t sustain you through a busy afternoon. Slow-burning carbs like wholegrain bread and brown rice will keep the brain energised for longer. Foods rich in essential fatty acids like oily fish and seeds boost cognitive performance, allowing you to focus on your work.

  3. Network: There’s no better time to catch up with colleagues than on your lunch break. In addition to boosting your mood with social interaction, chatting at lunch can help you make better contacts, discover opportunities and access new perspectives on challenging work projects.

  4. Mindfulness: It may seem counter-intuitive, but temporarily distancing yourself from your work can improve your problem-solving capabilities. While best known for relieving stress, mindful practices like yoga and meditation promote the development of mental space which the brain can then use to explore new lines of thought.

  5. Tackle your to-do list: Rather than spending your break scrolling through Facebook, try make the most of your time off by crossing something off your personal to-do list. Pick up your dry cleaning, nip to the post office or make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Each completed task creates some valuable mental space for the afternoon ahead.

  6. Doodle: Once deemed a bad habit, doodling is now being used to unleash productivity. Experts believe scribbling at random enhances focus, aids problem solving and even improves memory.

  7. Nap: If an activity filled lunch break feels like too much, try treating yourself to an afternoon snooze. Sleep is so good at enhancing performance, forward-thinking employers like Google and Uber are now encouraging employees to nap during work. If it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for us.