Lunch breaks are important, as they give you enough downtime to refresh yourself and focus for the rest of the day. Start using your lunch break in ways that can help you feel better, be more productive, and buy you free time later in the day.
Whether your lunch is 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour, it can be a great time to get things done. Sometimes you need to get stuff done without the kids.
Thirty minutes might not seem like much, but it adds up. Do it every workday, and that’s at least 2.5 hours per week, or 125 hours each year and–more importantly time you don’t have to stay up at night to get stuff done.
Be flexible. The sky is the limit – eat, exercise, run errands, relax, socialize, get outside, or do nothing. If I do something else during my lunch break, I’ll multi-task while eating – like returning emails, reading memo’s, etc.
Have a plan.
- listen to audio books (including free Kindle eBooks).
- listen to You Tube broadcasts
- spend time on focused thinking (great article by Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours)
- enjoy music
- make phone calls (usually using my Bluetooth)
- capture thoughts on a voice recorder
- decompress before arriving to pick up the kids or at home
- pray or listen to a speaker, Bible reading, or music that will enrich my soul
- meet a friend
- have a lunch date
By the time I arrive at my destination, I feel like I am prepared to deal with the next challenge or feel like I have accomplished another task for the day.
Eat in. Bring your own lunch. Even better, bring it in for the whole week on Monday.
These are my go-to lunch options:
- five frozen meals for the week (store bought or made from leftover plates)
- leftovers from last night
- protein bars
- meal replacement shakes or bars
- sandwiches, paired with fruit
- Chef, Cobb, or Southwest salads
Dine out. If you do, go early. Avoid the 12 noon rush. You will get more use of your lunch break by going before 12 or after 1. If you avoid the peak time used by the rest of the world, there will be less traffic, shorter lines, and less stress.
Map out errands. Make a list of things you need to do. Evaluate what you can realistically fit in and what’s priority. Cluster your errands close together. Leave out anything you could hit on the way to work or on the way home.
Sometimes you might need to blow your lunch break playing Solitaire or Candy Crush. But, you should also realize what a productive use of your time, you lunch break could be.
More Resources to Help You Make the Most of Your Lunch Breaks (affiliate links):
Ideas to Make the Most of Your Lunch Breaks:
- Prep the Night Before
- 30 Minute Workouts for Busy Moms
- Taking Some Me Time Without Sacrificing Mom Time
Read other posts in the 31 Ways to Get More Done series.
Original Photo Credit via Creative Commons License – vastateparksstaff