If you’re interested in increasing your productivity, it’s important to consider how you spend your time while taking breaks, not just while working. The activities you choose during your lunch break could leave you feeling refreshed and ready for a productive afternoon, or drained, tired and unmotivated.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but by taking breaks where you forget about work completely, you’ll get much more done once you get back to the grind. The following activities will help you to unwind and clear your mind.
Meditation requires no fancy equipment or a special space; just a quiet room will do. If you’re new to meditation, look for guided sessions on YouTube, or download a dedicated meditation app, to get an introduction to different mindfulness techniques. If that’s not possible, just spend 10 minutes focusing completely on your breathing. You might be surprised at how much clearer your mind is afterward.
Take a walk
Exercise benefits your mental and physical health in many ways, and it’s one of the best ways to spend your lunch break. There’s no need to sweat it on the treadmill, as a simple walk around the block will raise your heart rate and reduce any stress that’s built up over the course of the morning. Walking can be a thoughtful activity, and you might find yourself coming up with innovative solutions to problems during your stroll.
Read a book
Reading a book is an excellent way to take a mini-holiday during your break. Stimulating your imagination can improve your happiness levels and problem-solving abilities. Try to choose a book that’s as different from your work as possible. Think fantasy, sci-fi and thrillers, not books about business. If you find carrying a book around inconvenient, try downloading an eBook or audiobook to your phone.
Knit or sew
You’ve probably spent all morning staring at a screen, so choosing a break-time activity that involves using your hands will make a nice change. The repetitive nature of knitting or sewing can be soothing. You’ll also have a great sense of achievement once you complete a project, which helps you to remember that work success isn’t the only way to feel accomplished.
Listen to music
Put together a special lunch-break playlist of songs that make you feel happy and optimistic. Listening to positive songs can subconsciously boost your confidence, improve your mood, and be ready to tackle that to-do list once your break is over. If your co-workers approve, you might play music throughout the office. You all can bond over shared music tastes and get motivated.
Forget checking your emails while forcing down a sandwich. Instead, try one of these relaxing, mood-boosting activities on your next lunch break. You might be surprised at how much more productive you become.