Staying productive can be a huge part of developing your personal brand, especially if you work in a competitive industry. Because of that, you may feel tempted to go without your lunch breaks in the interest of getting more done. Here, we’ll look at why that’s usually not such a good idea. More importantly, we’ll offer tips that should help you change your ways.
Your Lunch Break Offers Time to Relax
If you’re in a high-stress job, it may seem like tensions are always high and people are constantly looking to you as an example of someone who excels. In fact, thriving under pressure may be a capability that makes up a big part of your personal brand. But an excess of stress and lack of relaxation is a recipe for burnout.
Top Tip: Research guided meditations that can clear your head quickly and help you refocus in a flash. If meditation isn’t your thing, consider taking a brisk walk around the area near your workplace. Often, physical activity can help you calm down. And exercise stimulates the creation of endorphins, which boost the mood.
A Lunch Break Could Help You Eat Better
Frequently, people who don’t place very much value in their lunch breaks find themselves wandering to the vending machine in search of sustenance. They’ll choose calorie-laden snacks that may provide a quick burst of energy, but one that’s short lived.
You may be trying to make improvements by at least storing nutritious snacks in your desk drawer. Even so, you can make the most of your lunch break and find fresh food that’ll fuel you up without packing on the pounds.
Top Tip: Experiment with some microwave-friendly slow cooker recipes. The preparation method tends to bring out the flavors of meat and vegetables, which might give you a renewed appreciation for familiar cuisines. Once you find good recipes, you can make large batches and portion them into reusable containers for the workweek.
Lunch Breaks Might Help You Burst the Workplace Bubble
When you’re concentrating on creating an authentic and admirable personal brand, your career may seem like the only priority in your life. It might even feel like your workplace is the only world you really know well. Your lunch break offers an ideal opportunity for community engagement: It’s time to explore the exciting experiences outside the doors of your office.
Top Tip: Expand your horizons by choosing to take an off-site lunch break at a restaurant that’s a community favorite. In the process, you’ll probably gain a much richer understanding of the place where you live. Maybe that means learning about how a historic Chicago pizza chain got its start, or checking out a new vegan restaurant that’s already getting rave reviews in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Lunch Breaks Allow You to Interact with More Coworkers
You might work at a very large company that offers the welcome convenience of an on-site cafeteria. If that’s the case, use that amenity to specifically reach out to fellow coworkers who are assigned to other tasks.
While working in the marketing department, for instance, you might confer with colleagues from sales and public relations on a daily basis, but never talk with fellow employees who handle the customer service side of things. A lunch break allows you to get to know others who are also contributing to your workplace, and probably working towards similar or mutual goals.
Top Tip: At the very least, spend one lunch break per week in a communal dining environment. Look for employees you don’t know well and specifically ask if you can sit down at their table to strike up friendly conversations.
If you went to a high school that was notorious for its cliques, the thought of spending even a minute eating in a cafeteria might cause your stomach to turn. However, you can make great progress on strengthening your personal brand by making it clear you understand the value of working as a team. More specifically, demonstrate you know how important it is to get to know as many people as possible at your workplace, and not just individuals you see regularly.
Lunch Breaks Let You Take Care of Life’s Necessities
There are some errands which must be handled during common workplace hours, like going to the post office or bank. Your lunch break offers a handy chance to tackle those tasks without feeling stressed about being away from the office. By using your lunch break wisely, you’ll avoid cutting into your personal time with chores while also enjoying a change of pace from the stress of a typical work day.
Top Tip: At the start of each workweek, spend about 15 minutes figuring out which essential items you can do while on a lunch break. If you love using your lunch break to get some fresh air, arrange to walk to the destinations so you include a little exercise and a gentle breeze in your hair.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t sacrifice your lunch breaks.
Your decision to appreciate lunch breaks could also be beneficial for strengthening your personal brand. It shows others you understand the value of not running yourself ragged, and are trying to strike a balance to prevent losing productivity.
Taking breaks might make you feel guilty at first, but once you make the transition, you’re not just taking lunch breaks: You’re making them worthwhile.