Working a long is draining, that is why the government of British Columbia requires employers to give a half hour unpaid lunch break to those who work a 5-hour shift or longer. Some employers choose to give even longer lunch breaks. So what can you do in 60 minutes or less? Start with a plan. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in your day or over the course of a year but don’t seem to find the time to do. Then be creative in figuring out how you might be able to do these things during lunch break.
Think about it. If you have a 30 minute lunch break and say you take 10 minutes to eat lunch, that would still leave you 20 minutes a day x 5 days a week, totaling 100 minutes a week or over 6 and a half hours a month. That works out to close to 80 hours a year. If you have a 60 minute lunch break (minus 10 minutes to eat) you would have over 200 hours a year. What could you accomplish in that time?
Eat. Start with the basics. Eat right so you have the energy to do the things you want. Change it up a bit. Don’t eat the same thing each day. Try eating something different, eating lunch with someone different, or eating lunch somewhere different.
Socialize. Is there a friend that works close by, or a colleague you’d like to get to know better? Try meeting up for lunch or another activity during your lunch break. Consider having a staff potluck once a month or inviting other departments to socialize.
De-stress. Take time to relax. Listen to calming music, meditate, or squeeze in some time for a quick manicure.
Go On An Adventure. Try visiting some of the tourist attractions in the area, parks, or some other place you’ve been thinking about checking out.
Run Errands. Squeezing in a quick errand during lunch will save you time after work. Some places like the bank and the post office are only open during office hours. You can also use this time to make important phone calls and address other tasks on your to-do list.
Learn Something. Webinars, articles, journals and websites are great ways to learn something new. The hard part might be figuring out what you would like to learn.
Read. There are so many books and so little time. Think of how many books you could read in 80 hours, or 200? Think about all the magazines and other journals that have been piling up.
Exercise. Go for a walk, stretch, or even consider hitting a near by gym. Exercise is a great way to de-stress and get motivated.
Pick Up A Hobby. Some hobbies are more portable than others, but most have some aspect that you can accomplish in 20 minutes, such as research for your next project, watching tutorials, and getting inspired.
Join Or Start A Club. Some workplaces have extra curricular activities that are organized for employees. Almost all of them were started because some need was identified. Look around at your coworkers, or other workers in your building and brainstorm what needs there are. Maybe your workplace would benefit from a Toastmasters club or something similar.
Change it up. If you only chose one lunch time per week to do something differently than you do now, you would still be gaining over 15 hours a year. What are you going to do on your lunch break?
This article was written by Miranda Vande Kuyt, a blogger for the My ESC website. Find out more about Miranda through her website: http://mirandavandekuyt.wordpress.com.