Work-from-home options are fantastic — it's sad it took a pandemic to wake businesses up to the fact that allowing employees to work from home will enable them to be more adaptable and inclusive. Although millions of employees are no longer idly wasting their lunch breaks, this does not imply that everyone has suddenly become incredibly productive or active. When you only have an hour, it can be challenging to push yourself to get up and do anything, but the WFH lunch hour is an excellent opportunity to do anything either helpful or entirely selfish.
When you work at home, it's easy to lose track of time or just speed through lunch, but this tendency might backfire. Working through lunch may seem like an excellent way to get even more done, but it may make you less — not more — productive. Making the most of your lunchtime might provide you with something to look forward to at the start of your workday. It can also be a terrific method to concentrate and revitalize yourself for the rest of your shift. Taking a break from your desk or workstation to do something new is a vital element of reclaiming your time. You should also avoid taking "breaks" that leave you tied to your tablet or smartphone, such as checking personal emails, checking up on the news, or scrolling through social media. You won't feel rejuvenated afterward, and you're more likely to be dragged back into work.
So what should you do? Here are some pointers to help you make the most of your lunch break when you work from home.
Step away from your desk.
Alternatively, work from your bed, couch, kitchen counter, or wherever you do your work around the house. A change of venue can be advantageous. It's simple to do everything at your workstation: eat your lunch, make social calls, read the social media and news, etc., but getting away from your typical setting allows you to refresh your mind, press the reset button, and have a more pleasant, balanced day. Enjoying some fresh air is preferable, but if you can't go outside, simply moving to a different home area can help.
Make lunch. Sit down and enjoy it.
One of the possible advantages of working from home is having access to all of your kitchen supplies and equipment. Cooking is a thoughtful activity that allows us to detach from work to take a lunch break away from our workspace. You might have gotten into the habit of grabbing greasy takeout or consuming a poor, prepackaged salad at your workstation at your office. Now that you're at home, it might be healthier to eat something fresh and healthy that won't raise your blood sugar and cause the unavoidable afternoon slump.
You probably already know that you should exercise, but it is especially crucial now since so much incidental activity has been removed from our everyday lives. Your lunch break is an opportunity to make it a regular practice: even a few minutes will add up over time, and it does not have to be a burden. Get up and start moving. You could be sitting behind your desk for hours without noticing it. Regardless if you have a height-adjustable standing desk or alternate sitting and standing during the day, a lunch hour can be an excellent opportunity to engage in continuous physical activity. Stepping away from your desk regularly is always a good idea.
An option would be to ride a desk bike while working or take a break, as cycling keeps your blood flowing and muscles engaged. Take a walk outside, or stay inside and stretch, or put on some music and dance across your room. Among the several advantages: You will be able to focus better & think more clearly and creatively due to this. You might also spend this time completing a quick physical task, such as sweeping or mopping the floor. Any form of exercise that keeps the blood circulating provides you with more energy, both physically and mentally, to be functional for the rest of your day.
Do something creative.
Creativity can assist you in processing your feelings and thoughts during difficult life circumstances. You could try a 10-minute watercolor painting, and drawing, sketching, or even scribbling a poem would also provide a significant boost. Freewriting allows you to "brain dump" on a blank paper, which can be therapeutic. Simply freeing your mind can help you gain guidance and focus.
Take a nap.
A study discovered a link between midday napping and strong cognitive and physical performance and actively engaging in life. Having a power nap can help you do more work in less time over the rest of your day. A short nap in the afternoon can boost your alertness, relieve stress, and boost your cognitive performance. The time is to coincide with your mid-afternoon energy slump; consume a cup of coffee beforehand; set a time limit for 25 minutes, and make it a habit for maximum benefit.
Some individuals find it quite hard to read, believe they cannot read efficiently enough, or become easily sidetracked. Reading practice can help you improve your reading skills. Make it a point to do so constantly. Reading is highly beneficial to cognitive performance. It is helpful to your health, but it is not simple. Every day, devote a portion of your lunch break to reading. Half an hour in a week adds up quickly. You'll also notice that you read on weekends and even in the evenings. It's a healthy habit, but getting hooked takes some work.
Close your eyes, sit up straight, and take a deep breath. Practicing mindfulness, even just for a few minutes per day, can be like pressing the reset button. Because you can practice meditation in practically any place, including your workspace, focus on finding a peaceful corner away from your desk for a lunch break session. Ensure that your breathing is calm, full, and even for at least five minutes. Get into a relaxed state and seek out a quiet location away from notifications and distractions. Even 10 minutes a day can help you take deep breaths and gain a more significant, better perspective on your day's work — if not your daily life.
Spend time with someone.
If you used to sit and eat with your coworkers before the pandemic, WFH life might have left you yearning for that noon rush of camaraderie. However, it is easy to duplicate this at home, even though it means using a more socially alienating alternative such as a phone or video chat. It is critical to find means to socially interact that detach us from work, whether it be with friends, a pet, or simply a phone call. Parents working from home can also use this time with their children. Including them in the habit of eating and moving during lunch will help you have a break and offer you the opportunity to engage with and be connected with them.
When you work at home, your usual pattern may be tossed out the window. Remember to take a break for lunch. It will refocus and rejuvenate your mind, as well as provide you with a well-deserved respite from your computer monitor.