Connect with us

Work Life Balance

7 Reasons Not To Let Work Eat Into Your Lunch Break

You should use this precious midday time to nap, run errands, exercise – oh, and perhaps enjoy a nice meal with a friend or co-worker.

Kyle Richey

Published

on

sandwich

There’s no denying that most entrepreneurs live by jam-packed schedules with something or the other always waiting to be done.

This often results in compromising the lunch hour and squeezing some of the pending work into it.

After all, it saves you time, doesn’t it? And while you may think that you’re doing your business a favour by working through or taking very little of what is meant to be your lunch break, the truth could be quite the contrary.

According to psychologist Frank J. Sileo, founder and executive director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement based in Ridgewood, NJ:

“A lunch break is important for your physical and mental health.”

He further states: “Studies have shown that taking a lunch break can reduce stress. Time for relaxation away from work has also been correlated with heightened productivity and creativity.”

Related: Surprising Things 5 Entrepreneurs Do in Their Lunch Breaks

Wondering how you should be spending your break away from your desk in the most productive way? The following few tips should help you understand how successful entrepreneurs spend their lunch hour.

1. Prioritise lunch

Eating well is important to keep your mind and body going. So, it only makes sense to set some time apart to actually fill up on those healthy nutrients. Successful entrepreneurs, therefore, make it a point not to schedule important meetings around lunch time and spend a few minutes post-lunch reviewing the day’s progress.

Smart entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of eating on time and understand that skipping lunch will not do them any good. They allot sufficient time to lunching, because they realise that not doing so will be detrimental to their wellbeing in the long term – which will have bearings on the business as well.

2. Eat mindfully

lunch-break

Smart businessmen understand the importance of being healthy and how it impacts their productivity. They, therefore, eat healthy and mindfully. This means being aware of what you put in your body, eating slowly and savouring every morsel. Such practices keep you healthy, lower your stress levels and enable you to focus in the afternoon.

3. Network effectively

Effective entrepreneurs use lunch hour to eat and network with others from the industry a couple of times in a week, either as an introduction or to reconnect. They also get away from their work desk and eat at a different location for a change of scene and perspective.

Further, they use this time as an opportunity to bond with the people in their company by heading to lunch with them from time to time and gaining insights on their role in the company’s success.

Doing so enables them to learn more about their industry and / or organisation and find new mentors, partners and friends in the process. You should try it too!

4. Organise well

Afternoons are a good time to reflect on accomplished tasks to keep the momentum going.

If you’ve been having a rough morning, you may want to take the lunch break and come back to work with renewed energy – just like thriving business owners do.

The lunch hour is also a good time to organise / reorganise certain tasks from your to-do list. This will give you a sense of control on your life inside and outside the office, which will reduce stress and provide you with the mental energy to perform better.

5. Exercise

exercise-strategy

Did you know that afternoons could be a great time to exercise?

Michael Smolensky, lead author with Lynne Lamberg of The Body Clock Guide to Better Health says: “Physical performance is usually best, and the risk of injury least, from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.”

It would be a good idea to squeeze in some exercise time into your lunch hour. It comes with a plethora of benefits such as better health, reduced stress, improved mood and better confidence. Enterprising businessmen head to the closet gym and keep fit with indoor exercises around lunch hour.

Related: These Are the World’s Top 10 Young Billionaires

6. Take a catnap

Great entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of getting sufficient shut-eye time and the effect it has on performance. You will do well by taking a quick nap during your lunch break.

According to sleepfoundation.org, a short nap of 20 to 30 minutes provides significant benefit for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with night-time sleep.

7. Run personal errands

If you’re a busy entrepreneur who’s never able to find time to complete the tasks on the personal to-do list, then lunch break may bail you out.

Successful entrepreneurs use this time to take care of errands which they, otherwise, wouldn’t be able to finish during the day. They also make personal calls, meet people and achieve other personal tasks from their list during lunch hour.

While a busy schedule is an unavoidable part of every entrepreneur’s life, do not let work eat into your time to eat, rest, exercise and recharge your batteries.

Put the above activities on your priority list to boost your productivity – and thereby ensuring business success and a great life.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Kyle Richey is the founder and CEO of Strides App. Kyle has an obsession with productivity and setting and achieving goals. This inevitably has a significant influence on his commitment to health and fitness and maintaining a healthy body.

Advertisement
Comments

Work Life Balance

How To Optimise Your Productivity After Quitting Your Job

You’ve done it. You’re your own boss. All the time in the world. Now the problem is – you’re used to 10 hours of your day being allocated elsewhere – there’s almost too much time now. So much time… and so many ways to waste it.

Jordan Stephanou

Published

on

productivity-and-entrepreneurship

The idea of having control of our own time is bliss. In many ways, nothing could be better than the idea of “freedom”, of having “full control” of one’s life. The reality is that it can be incredible, however it can also be life’s biggest trap. If there is no strategy to optimize this available time, it will turn into one major procrastination session.

If your time is not carefully managed, your entrepreneurial journey could become months of regret and self-loathing because of wasted opportunity. On the flip side, Peter Thiel has been paraphrased in saying that one of the beauties of an entrepreneurial life, is that if someone were to put a gun to your head and demand that you achieve 10 years worth of goals in 6 months, it would be possible. If time is used extremely effectively, anything is possible. That, in my view, is something to get excited about, and is reason enough to want to put tangible methods in place.

Note that many of these methods were inspired by Tim Ferriss and the many world class performers he has interviewed on his podcast. I have since experimented with recommendations and have found that the below have worked best for me.

1. Organise meetings

This may sound counterintuitive, because meetings are commonly considered (at least in the corporate world) to be the ultimate waste of time. The reason for that perception is that there is usually so much work to be done, and corporate meetings classically aren’t necessary for all the attendees, and do not result in a definitive next step.

Related: 10 Things You Must Do Before Quitting Your Job To Start Your Company

My argument for organising meetings is to conjure momentum when none exists early on in the process. If you are sitting with a blank calendar and a blank agenda, by arranging meetings with potential clients, partners, employees or investors, this will create a sense of scarcity; a simulated “due date” that will force you to do the appropriate work to be ready for said meeting, and could put you on an exciting unforeseen path post-meeting.

These meetings also get people on the same page as you; to buy into your vision and to get them excited by what excites you in your entrepreneurial journey – you never know what doors can open from connecting with the right people at the right time.

I read a quote recently that said “great opportunities never have ‘Great Opportunity’ in the subject line”.

2. Say No

You may receive a deluge of exciting propositions and projects out of nowhere that others less committed than you would like you to work on. These can be extremely tempting, but as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks says, “The single most important distinction in life is to distinguish between an opportunity to be seized and a temptation to be resisted”.

Derek Sivers makes this distinction by removing any middle ground – if he doesn’t feel that the opportunity is a “HELL YEAH!”, it’s simply a “no”. Another tool you could use is to rate opportunities out of 10 – but you’re not allowed to use the number 7. When in doubt, you have to either rate the opportunity as a 6 or an 8. If it’s a 6, it’s a definite “no”.

Saying no can be infinitely more difficult than saying yes. That’s why, it can be argued that nurturing the ability to decline mediocre opportunities is one the most important skills on the path to success.

organising-day3. Don’t let others set your agenda for you

You will wake up to several emails, whatsapp messages and a missed call. You are then faced with a difficult decision – to reactively respond to all before pursuing your agenda for the day; or proactively completing your agenda first and then addressing the needs of others.

The risk of the reactive approach, is that there is a high probability of getting derailed entirely by requests from other people. A seemingly short request could end up cascading into several hours of back and forth. It is quite possible that by the time this has reached completion, you have no energy left to allocate to the most important tasks for the day. You will leave feeling unfulfilled, as if the day was wasted – a routine you desperately need to avoid.

You should set your own agenda, and when the key tasks are completed, you attend to the emails and requests of others.

Related: How To Start A Side Hustle Without Quitting Your Day Job

4. Set your most important 3 tasks each day

On any given day, you may have 32 important things you want to achieve. Where does one even begin to prioritise these? Typically, we may start with the easiest of the 32 to get that “small win” feeling. The downside is that the easiest may not be the most important or urgent, and could leave you feeling in a similar position to where you started. That’s why I set the most important 3 each day.

They may take 5 minutes each or 5 hours each, but if you can consistently overcome the most important 3 tasks on a daily basis, you will not only make tangible progress in your work, but develop an unrivalled (and somewhat addictive) sense of productivity.

In addition, I recommend setting these 3 tasks at the end of each working day, so that you can get straight into them the next morning. I find that setting the next day’s objectives is a nice way to wind down the day, and reduce chances of morning procrastination the next day because your agenda will already be pre-constructed, leaving no room for excuses.

5. Find the environment that speaks to your working soul

Some people thrive in 8am-5pm busy office environments, while others can only work from night time when it feels like the world around them is asleep. Some people love absolute silence while others need the madness of boisterous conversation and loud music. There is no perfect way to work.

Related: Feel Like Quitting? These 9 Women Prove Grit Can Lead You To Massive Success

I have found that the ambience of coffee shops is conducive to a productive environment – being surrounded by people of different backgrounds and occupations leads to a complementary sense of both community and urgency, and removes any sense of loneliness. Furthermore, don’t underestimate the power of the right music to aid productivity.

Certain melodic lyric-less music could help create a rhythm conducive to productivity (Tim Ferriss highly recommends Gramatik as an aid to his book writing). Some people prefer music they are extremely familiar with, and even play the same song or album on repeat for hours; the familiarity could create a sense of comfort, and you won’t get distracted by the lyrics.

There is no perfect formula for productivity. There is no script, as much as others may try enforce theirs onto you. That’s why this journey is so exciting – you can use any of the methods above and do what works for you. Be productive by using your mind, not your time.

Continue Reading

Work Life Balance

Immerse Yourself In Purposeful Reading This Holiday Season

As the festive season draws close, and we have a bit more time on our hands, I thought I’d share details about a few of my favourite books which I encourage everyone to read.

Brian Eagar

Published

on

holiday-reading-list
Prev1 of 5

I am an avid reader. Maybe not as avid as Nelson Mandela was or self-made billionaires Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and many others are, but still very avid. Buffett, in fact, estimates that he spends as much as 80% of his time reading. He puts his success down to the amount of literature that he consumes, saying that reading is what makes him a more nimble and astute businessman.

Reading broadens the mind and allows for learning through others’ experiences. Through learning, we build up knowledge. By putting that knowledge into practice over time, we build wisdom. Wisdom in turn builds trust, builds relationships and attracts followers.

As the festive season draws close, and we have a bit more time on our hands, I thought I’d share details about four of my favourite books which I encourage everyone to read.

Prev1 of 5

Continue Reading

Company Posts

Is There A Link Between Physical And Financial Wellness?

To reduce stress and find your feet, get going down the road to better financial and physical health. Here are some ideas:

Fedhealth

Published

on

physical-and-financial-wellness-strategies

Many of us have goals connected to both physical or financial health, but would you have expected them to be linked? According to some new studies, they are. In one study by Momentum (UK), a survey “show[ed] a clear and significant relationship between overall wellbeing and Financial Wellness”. They looked at established areas of economic wellbeing, and asked respondents about their feelings towards their physical health.

The survey found that “39% of people in ‘excellent health’ reported feeling confident about their finances in the long-term. Of those who reported being in ‘poor health’, just 18% were confident about their long-term finances.”

Stress is at the root of many health complications and diseases. It stands to reason that one of life’s biggest stressors, money, would be linked to health. This goes both ways though, so if you are less stressed about money, you are likely to have better health. To reduce stress and find your feet, get going down the road to better financial and physical health.

Related: Fedhealth Brings Healthy Benefits to your Staff

Here are some ideas:

Take stock

Just as you’d make a food diary to figure out where you’re eating badly, you should also keep a spending diary. Log every cent you spend, both fixed and variable, and after just a few weeks you’ll notice where the pitfalls of your spending habits lie.

Work on healthier eating habits and healthier spending habits: Try grocery shopping with a list when you’re not hungry, to avoid buying all the things that expand your waistline and shrink your bank balance.

Do some exercise(s)

Exercise is key when it comes to physical health, but you can do some spending exercises too. Once you’ve tracked your spending, allocate all of it to named expenses. Then play with the numbers and aim to reduce your spending to increase savings.

Figure out the sweet spot between what you get in and what goes out, to figure out spending and savings goals. Then at the end of each month, do a reconciliation to see if you reached your goals. Just as you may aim for a personal best when running, so you can aim for a PB in your spending habits too.

Eat at home

Think this one isn’t financial? Think again. Eating at home is better for your health, but it’s also better for your wallet. Aim to eat at home 70-80% of the time, and take a packed lunch to work (leftovers work a treat, as long as you plan for them). If you buy lunch every day at R40/day, you can save R200 a week or nearly R10 000 a year. That’s a quite a lump of cash you could be saving for retirement.

Related: Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Save to splurge later

Several new studies link good savings habits in early life, to better health later in life. A life you’ll actually be around to see, if you’re healthy that is. According to this article, a new study in the Psychological Science journal found that “people who value their future selves enough to regularly put money aside in a nest egg, are more likely to also make healthier choices in the present to improve their health in the future”.

So there you have it. A few steps you can take now to improve your financial wellbeing and your physical health, to ensure you’re healthy, well and cared for when you retire.

Continue Reading

Trending

FREE E-BOOK: How to Build an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Sign up now for Entrepreneur's Daily Newsletters to Download​​