To solopreneurs, time is a precious commodity, and the pressure to use every second of every day to further our business goals can sometimes cause us to make less-than-optimal decisions. One of the easiest of those decisions can be to skip lunch and work straight through the day. The problem is, you can’t work every second of every day, or at least not for very long before you get burned out and your business suffers. Instead of skipping lunch, try incorporating some things that can make you more productive and still let you take a break. Here are a few things to try:
1. Get Away From Screens
While this may not apply to everyone, many of us spend a good portion of our day looking at screens, whether it’s sitting at a computer, organizing orders on a tablet, or communicating with clients on our phones. In order to make the most of your lunch break, get away from the screens and give your eyes a rest. If you can’t shake the feeling that you’re “wasting” your time, pick up a book, magazine or newspaper instead of opening a browser.
2. Take A Walk
Getting outside for a mid-day jaunt can be just thing you need to serve as a “reset” and get you ready for the rest of your day. It doesn't have to be a long walk – if you have to, just step outside and take a lap around your office or house – but a change of scenery can certainly be a great stress reliever amid a busy workday.
This may seem like common sense, but many people, especially those of us running one-person businesses, often choose to forgo a meal in favor of a bit of extra productivity. However, this can often turn out to be a bad trade when you find yourself running out of fuel in the early afternoon. Consuming a healthy lunch will give you the boost you need to push through to the end of the day, and the extra attentiveness and energy you have will more than offset the work you may have gotten done by skipping lunch all together.
Self-employed individuals tend to work long hours, and many times that can lead to a lack of social life. To help counter this, take time during your break to get in touch with a friend or even a client and do a bit of socializing. Invite them out for lunch, or just see how their day is going. You can even combine some of these tips by inviting someone to eat with you, or having a “walking meeting” outdoors instead of in your office.
5. Evaluate Your Day
It can be difficult to see the bigger picture when you’re knee deep in work, so your lunch break can be a great time to step back and take note of how your day is progressing. If you’ve only checked off the first quarter of your to-do list, you may want to take this opportunity to move some things around and work out a more realistic schedule for the rest of the day. If things are moving faster than planned, you may be able to find time for another task or two before the day ends.
As you can see, lunchtime doesn't have to be a choice between endless work and a full stop. You can take a break in the middle of the day and still find ways to keep your body and mind in top form.
What do you do when lunchtime rolls around? Share your schedule with us in the comments below!