HomeAbout UsCover Art GalleryContact UsSubscribe

Do Not Break Your Lunch Break

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Two new female employees were conversing one day.

First girl: I lost my job because of illness and fatigue.

Second girl: That's too bad.

First girl: Yeah, my boss got sick and tired of me.

The second girl pressed on: Why, what happened?

First girl: I was just a little late coming back from lunch.

Second girl: And what did your boss say?

First girl: He said, “You are so amazing. You've been with us two weeks and, already, you're a month behind in your work!”

Talk about lunch breaks.

There was once a time in our work life when we had the luxury of sitting down, relaxing, and eating a hearty meal during lunch hour. This part of our life is now history. Long before the advent of e-mail, SMS, Blackberry, and being on line 24/7, our lunch breaks were more leisurely. Today, lunchtime is packed with tasks and multi-tasks, which is why we are so stressed.

One thing I noticed is that technology has helped us want to inject more tasks into the same available hours. And all these tasks are important. Just consider the word 'priorities.' How can 'priority' be plural? But that’s just the way life is today.

I have noticed the way I do lunch. The Ilocana one time called my attention and said, “Sweetheart, you may want to chew your food before you swallow. You have just set an Olympic record for speed eating!”

This is not a good thing.

Although I can finish a meal in four minutes flat, I sometimes tend to forget that others cannot. And this is why, as a leader, I need to be sensitive about this and not cause people indigestion, especially those who work for me and who work with me.

Here are five ways for you not to break your lunch break. Make the best of your lunch hour by considering the following ideas:

1. GET A GOOD BREAKFAST.

You start the day by starting healthy and you go through the day by staying healthy. Time and time again I hear fitness and nutrition experts say that breakfast is the key to controlling hunger by lunchtime.

There are people who tell me they skip breakfast. I don’t really know if that is a good idea. But I make sure I have a good breakfast by staying away from sweets, and drinking a lot of liquid—and not just coffee. Instead, I take a lot of fiber. Fiber keeps me from overeating.

Now this is just me. I do not pretend to be an expert in this, but I can go for the whole morning without having to take a morning snack as long as I have a good breakfast. This gives me the energy to do what I do. It also makes me a lot more productive.

2. GET AWAY FROM YOUR DESK.

If you bring your lunch to work, do not eat it in the place where you will spend the rest of your work hours. Use your lunch break as an opportunity to remove yourself from your workspace. Get some fresh air. Stay away from the dragons (the people who huff and puff on cigarettes during lunchtime). Eat outside, talk to a friend, read a good book, listen to your favorite music on your MP3 player, or anything. The key is to STEP AWAY! This way, you will feel re-energized once it's time to slide back into your chair.

3. GET YOUR WORKOUTS FROM YOUR ERRANDS.

Some bosses need to get work done asap. And they need you to do errands. So make the most of this by walking! This helps digestion and would greatly revitalize you mentally as well as reduce stress throughout the day.

4. GET THE RIGHT COMPANY.

Find colleagues who are healthy and health conscious. You know the old cliché: Birds of the same feather...all eat little together!

As you build friendships and encourage health consciousness, you are actually adding value to building good relationships. This benefits not only you but your organization as well.

The most important thing I need to remember, though, is that, as a leader, I should refrain from making my people break their lunch break. Not only is this not nice, it’s also reflective of poor leadership.

Print ed: 07/10

 

On Newsstands Now

DECEMBER 2014:
The Asian Consumer Goldmine

14-12