When you’re overwhelmed and weighed down by a never-ending list of things to do, you can feel helpless and paralyzed. But the power to take charge of life is in your hands. You can’t flip the script with a snap of your fingers. But if you commit one hour a day to self-improvement, you’ll feel better from the inside out. And when you feel better, you become unstoppable!
Whether you’re looking to improve professionally, physically or financially, knowing how to maximize your lunch break can better your life.
Unplug and Get Away
Sitting at your desk during lunch may be contributing to ongoing fatigue and burnout. The purpose of lunch is to unwind mentally and nourish your body. This may not happen if you eat at your desk. There’s too much temptation to work through your lunch. Between listening to voicemails and responding to emails, it can feel as if you didn’t have a break.
Use this hour to recharge mentally and completely unplug. Don’t just leave your desk—leave the office. Even if you only sit in the car, this is an opportunity to clear your mind and meditate, which helps you maintain a positive attitude.
Eat for Health
Lunch provides fuel to get through the rest of the day. But if you choose the wrong types of food, you’ll become sluggish and unmotivated—which won’t make you or your boss happy.
Brain-powering foods are essential. These include avocados to increase blood flow to your brain, or blueberries for a daily dose of antioxidants to protect your brain from cell damage. Whole grains, raw carrots and nuts also give the brain a cognitive boost. Better brain function improves productivity at work. The more productive and valuable you are to the company, the easier it’ll be to advance your career.
A stronger immune system reduces your risk of illness and infections, resulting in fewer sick days. But regular exercise doesn’t only benefit your paycheck. It can also increase your energy level and improve your mood. As a result, it’ll be easier to deal with stressful situations that arise at work and in your personal life. After eating lunch, plan for a 15 to 20-minute walk before getting back to work.
Take a Cat Nap
You don’t have to sleep a full eight hours to feel refreshed. A quick cat nap can alleviate midday sluggishness, improve cognitive function and relieve stress at work. Research shows that a 26-minute nap can increase performance by 34% and alertness by 54%.
Fix Your Money
A new year is an excellent time to clean up your financial house. If you aren’t where you want to be money-wise, use your lunch break to make at least one positive financial change each week. This change can be as simple as creating a spending plan or coming up with a strategy to eliminate debt. If you need help in this area, check out my new course Tame Your Finances & Save $5,000 in the Process for the exact steps to take.
Additionally, schedule an appointment with a financial planner, call your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate or set up auto-pay with utility companies and creditors to avoid late payments and late fees.Take control of your life over your lunch break, it really is that easy! Click To Tweet
Free Up Your Time in Evenings
Running errands and taking care of personal business after work steals time from your family. If you have a personal to-do list a mile high, tackle one item a day on your lunch break and free up your time in the evenings. This may include going to the bank, paying bills, speaking with customer service, etc. The less tasks scheduled for after work, the more time you’ll have to rest your mind and body in preparation for the next day.
Get Ahead in Your Career
Don’t stay in a career you hate. If your professional life has hit a brick wall, use your lunch break to get ahead and plan your next move. Go to a coffeeshop or bookstore, jump on the WiFi and update your LinkedIn page. You can also research and sign up for upcoming seminars, classes (such as online nurse practitioner programs in Michigan) or workshops to acquire new skills. Or if you’re looking for a second income stream or side hustle, devote this time to researching and strategizing your startup. Read blogs and articles about the business you want to start, and then come up with a plan for getting your idea off the ground.
Your life won’t change in one day. But in just one hour a day, you can achieve your goals and start the process of changing your life forever.
How do you make the most of your lunch break?