Lunch breaks can be for more than just eating. In fact, if you’re pursuing a dream or a goal, your lunch break can be a very productive hour to get ahead and focus on a productive work.
Before I started my side hustles and dedicated my lunch breaks to being productive, I used to eat my lunch within 15 minutes and then practically twiddle my thumbs until it was time to clock in again. I ended up using my lunch break to watch Netflix or YouTube videos just to pass the time.
It was extremely unproductive and quite draining, especially since I rarely left the office. I swear, that hour felt so long and was such a drag. I actually got to a point where I didn’t enjoy my lunch break.
After about a year of unproductive lunch breaks, I made up my mind that I would utilize my hour to focus on my future and getting things done. Now, I look forward to my lunch break and preplan what activity I will do each day during my time off.
Here are 6 things to do during your lunch break to maximize productivity
Your workout doesn’t need to be a sweat drenching HITT workout. A mild workout such as going for a walk or doing some light reps will do. It helps to create a sweat-free workout that can be done in your office or in the general surrounding area of your workplace.
A workout during lunch rejuvenates your energy, gets your body moving (especially if you sit all day), and is overall healthy for your body.
When I began my full-time job a few years back, I gained 15 pounds in the first year. I knew that most of my weight gain was due to my new sedentary lifestyle along with the food I was eating. I was determined to lose weight and one of the ways I did that was by working out during my lunch break. Not only was that extremely successful, it gave me the motivation I needed to use my lunch breaks wiser.
Here are some sweat-free workout options that are easy to do during lunch:
– Jumping Jacks
– Wall Sits
– Calf raises
– Chair Dips
After a lunch workout, you should feel refreshed and prepared to complete the second half of your workday with energy.
2. Pursue Your Dreams
Most lunch breaks are between 30 minutes to 1 hour. That’s plenty of time to work toward your future. When I started my two online businesses (this blog and my e-commerce business), I started to dedicate my lunch break to work on those two projects. I found that I was able to get a lot of little things done as well as participate in video tutorials and workshops in order to learn more.
Since I work full-time, it’s necessary for me to work on my side projects as often as I can. This means before work, during lunch, and after work. Adding that extra hour during work has really helped me get ahead in my goals and stay focused on my personal work. If you decide to dedicate your lunch breaks to work on your future, make sure you come prepared with the items you need such as your notebook and laptop.
Work can be stressful, so can life. An hour a day, or even 30 minutes of alone time, away from work to journal or have a devotional can make all the difference. Personally, I prefer to journal, but structured devotionals and meditation are just as effective.
All avenues are great ways to relax and reflect on your inner thoughts and feelings, which is something that often gets pushed down due to the stress of work. If you’re new to journaling or spending ‘alone’ time to reflect, here are some suggestions on how to maximize this opportunity.
If you are more into writing and journaling, invest in a good journal that you like. Also, get a good pen that writes smooth.
If writing isn’t your thing, try reading a devotional. There are plenty of devotional books that are focused on various topics from religion to self-help.
If you’d prefer to just sit and listen, try a podcast or audiobook. I love listening to podcasts because they are more unfiltered and relatable. However, audiobooks are just as good and there are plenty of great books to listen to.
Finally, if in doubt, you can read or listen to the Bible and then journal about it. The bible is my favorite go to.
Whatever you choose to do make sure it’s stress-free for you and allows you to be honest with yourself. This time spent during your lunch break is guaranteed to relax you and prepare you to finish your day.
4. Invest in Knowledge
Have you ever said, I wish I had time to learn this or that? Now, you have the time. Take your hour lunch break and learn something new. There are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube for all types of activities and there are plenty of educational apps and podcasts as well.
If you don’t know what type of knowledge to invest in, here are some suggestions:
– Learn to code. Coding is quickly becoming vital in the digital age and it will be helpful to learn for the future.
– Learn a new language. I use the app Duolingo to help me learn Spanish. It’s been extremely helpful.
– Read a book. Reading is one of the best ways to invest in knowledge. If you don’t know which book to read, hop onto Good Reads and create a reading list. You’ll be hacking away at books in no time.
5. Run Errands
This is one of my favorite ways to utilize my lunch break because it’s a great way to be productive. I absolutely hate having to run errands once I get off work because I have such little time to do all the things I need to accomplish.
Once I get off work I need to eat dinner, prepare for the next day, do homework, write, and work on my businesses. There is no spare time to go to the store to do errands.
I find that when I plan my errands ahead of time for my lunch break, I’m able to get everything done. If I have a lot to do, I split it between two or three days.
I tend to grocery shop, buy items I need from the store, return items I didn’t like, go to the bank, etc. Since I’m typically gone for the entire length of my lunch break, I eat my lunch during my remaining hours of work, which I prefer to do anyway. Trust me, this is a great time saver and a nice trip out of the office.
6. Take Care of (Personal) Business
Lunch break is the perfect time to take care of those little personal tasks that we tend to avoid doing. I’m talking about making appointments, online shopping, returning phone calls, replying to personal emails, updating your calendar, and planning your day, week, and month. There are also other more fun tasks to do such as sending birthday cards, reaching out to old friends, and making important lists such as things to buy, places to go, short-term goals and long-term goals.
So, there you have it, how to be productive during your lunch break. I have personally done everything on this list and it’s really changed the way I view my 1-hour break from work.
Now, each day I have something to look forward to and I know I’m not mindlessly wasting my time watching TV or twiddling my thumbs.
I hope you can have successful and productive lunch breaks and are able to work toward your goals!