Ten Ways to Make Your Lunch Break Count

What do you do on your lunch break?  Do you scarf down a sandwich and then hurry back to your desk, or do you play games on your cell phone?  Whether your use your lunch break as a mental rest or as an opportunity to get stuff done, make sure that you deliberately decide how you will use that time.  The way that you use your lunch break could be a key factor in your success.  Here are ten ways to make your lunch break count:

Take a walk.  When you get some exercise and a change of scenery, it breaks up your day and it can provide you with a fresh perspective.

Read an industry publication.  It’s hard to find the time to keep up to date on current trends in your industry.  Your lunch break is the perfect opportunity.  Also, it sends the message to your co-workers and your managers that you are serious about your career.

Go outside.  Getting some fresh air and feeling the sunshine is a great way to re-energize yourself for the afternoon ahead.

Eat lunch with your co-workers.  Your lunch break is a good time to make a personal connection with your co-workers.  Make an effort to reach out and talk to someone who you don’t know very well; you never know who will become a good friend or a useful networking contact.

Take your full lunch.  It is important that you take your full lunch in order for you to give yourself a break and to be ready to tackle the rest of the day.  It is a well-documented fact that employees who take their lunch breaks are actually more productive than those who don’t.

Job search.  If you are looking for the next step in your career, then your lunch break is a great time to find jobs and send off resumes.  However, if you do it at your desk, there is a good chance that your co-workers and manager will know that you’re looking for a new job.  If you do choose to job search on your lunch break, do it in your car or on a mobile device far away from prying eyes.

Inspire yourself.  What inspires you?  Is it motivational quotes?  Photos of your children?  Cute pictures of animals?  Whatever it is, allow yourself a few minutes on your lunch break to indulge.

Run an errand.  Most of us are overwhelmed by the countless tasks that we have on our to-do lists, both at work and at home.  If you use your lunch break to cross something off of your to-do list, you will have more time for yourself at the end of the day.

Take a course.  Acquiring a new skill or getting a certification is a good way to develop your career.  Take a little time on your lunch break each day to work on it and before long you’ll be ready to take that next step.

Talk to a family member or friend.  On those challenging days that our jobs sometimes throw at us, it can be a relief to talk to a loved one.  Sometimes just hearing their voice reminds you that there is a lot more to life than your job.

There are many different ways that your lunch break can contribute to your success.  So step away from your computer, grab your tuna sandwich and figure out how to make this time work for you.

(Written by Karen Bivand)

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