There are many people who generally avoid lunch. For kids, lunch is even more important because this is when they get their vitamins and nutrients for the day. The school lunch in America is known for being unhealthy, which needs to be checked.
One of the most important things any employee can do to boost their productivity at work is to take their full lunch break. It is not necessarily news that the right foods will improve brain function, but paying closer attention to glucose intake will definitely help improve productivity. As the main daily meal in dozens of countries around the world, lunch holds a place of primary cultural importance. In 9-to-5 environments, the midday meal is not always such a big deal, but making time for a healthy lunch can pay off both mentally and physically. It is not easy to squeeze in a lunch break, but it is often necessary for our health and sanity. Here are eight things you can do on your break that will help you maximize your productivity at work.
Stores your mental energy
Everyone has only a certain amount of mental energy. It is vital to our ability to focus, regulate our own behavior, be creative, and make critical decisions. But spending all that mental energy throughout the day can drain our reserves. The longer you go without taking a break, the more depleted our energy stores get over time, and the more and more effortful each activity becomes, says John Trougakos, Ph.D., associate professor of organizational behavior and HR management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. But by taking a break from work and yes, a lunch break counts and you replenish those stores. This makes your efforts easier because you have more energy, Trougakos says.
Helps to bond with others
Trougakos says that while taking a lunch break with coworkers can be a great opportunity to network, he cautions against doing it regularly if you find it draining. If this is not what your preferred choice is to be doing during your lunch time, then you are still depleting your resources because you have to regulate your emotions and engage in impression management, particularly if you are having lunch with a supervisor or with coworkers who you may not necessarily feel comfortable around, he says. You are still depleting your mental reserves, and that just defeats the purpose.
Assist in avoiding burnout
The choices you make in the present can affect how you feel later on and yes, that is even true for something as trivial-seeming as taking a lunch break. People can power through for short periods of time in ways that are not healthy in the long-term, Scarborough Civitelli says. So you may say, Oh, no one here takes a lunch break and we are all doing fine, and sure, you may all seem relatively fine for now. But then it will catch up with you, and that is when you see things like stress-related illness, burnout, and career dissatisfaction.
The Bottom Line
Eating in the middle of the day, several hours after breakfast, re-energizes your body and can raise blood sugar levels when focus and concentration are flagging. Also, it is actually more of a necessity, particularly when it comes to your health and career performance.