Do you take a lunch break every day? According to recent reports, a significant proportion of workers don’t. A Monster.com survey showed that 38% of office staff didn’t take a lunch break at all, or ate at their desks. A further 17% took only 15 minutes for their lunch. A study by KFC Corporation six years ago reported that 60% of American corporate employees viewed a proper lunch break as “the biggest myth of office life”.
It’s not hard to see why – in today’s fast-paced work environment, every minute is precious. Many of us face lengthy commutes to work, a barrage of meetings and deadlines whilst there, and then a long and stressful treck home. Squeezing as much productivity into the day becomes a real priority, and some workers even choose to work through their lunch hours so that they can leave earlier at the end of the day.
Received wisdom tends to scold us for this. We’re told it’s important to take a lunch break for our mental welfare, our joint health, and our sanity. A proper break rests our brains and enables us to work more effectively afterwards. Getting up and moving around protects us from posture problems and repetitive strain injury. We can use the time to get some fresh air, sunlight and exercise. To not do so is just irresponsible!
All of this is absolutely true, of course; but I think you should be taking our lunch breaks for a much more important reason.
Because the time can be spent working towards finding your dream job (or improving it if you’ve already found it).
How To Take A Lunch Break That Works For You
Even if you only take a lunch break of 45 minutes each day out of a 5-day working week, you have three and three-quarter hours to play with. Three and three-quarter hours which could be entirely devoted to making your dream job (or any dream) come true. You could:
- Spend some time doing some digging to find out where your real talents lie (more on how to do this in future posts)
- Do some reading to inspire your job-hunt and career-change process (check out some options in the UK and US stores in the sidebar on the right)
- Get support from your job-hunt or career-change dream team (exact details on how to build a dream team can be found in one of the two free e-booklets your get when you sign up for my newsletter)
- Eat a proper meal – because being well-nourished will help support you in making empowering choices (some ideas for good meals can be found in the other free e-booklet you get when you sign up to my newsletter)
- Do some of the practical things necessary to get ready for a career-change: improving your CV, for example.
If you take a lunch break every day, not only will it help move you closer to your vital vocation, you’ll also probably find that you feel refreshed for work in the afternoon. Productivity and job satisfaction will improve, which is good for you, and good for your employer.
Take Action Tip:
If you think you’ll struggle to take a lunch break every day, make an appointment in your diary, and plan exactly what you’ll spend the time doing. Block out at least thirty minutes, preferably more, and take that appointment seriously every day. It’s with the most important person you know, after all.
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