Q. What is one way to make your lunch hour more productive?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Turn off Your Phone
Our brains require recharging. I’m not saying that you need to nap over lunch, but turning off your phone will allow you the opportunity to “get away” for a brief amount of time. No calls, no emails, no texts. Take this time to relax and recharge your battery, which will allow you to be more productive for the remainder of the day.
- Adam Callinan, BottleCamo
2. Take a Walk
We don’t take lunch hours, but taking five minutes to get up and walk helps rejuvenate you. I like to listen to music, just pick up something quick to eat and get back to work. However, having those couple of minutes helps me relax, release stress and get ready to take on the second part of the day.
- Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper
3. Dine With Friends
Use your lunch hour for social time. All work and no play sucks. You don’t need to have beers (and you probably shouldn’t) to enjoy someone else’s company. Instead, have a friendly and personal chat with someone you haven’t seen in a while, or someone you see every day. Live a bit and socialize. Work can wait, and you’ll be happier because of it.
- Danny Wong, Blank Label
4. Get Some Exercise
Use the first 10 minutes of your lunch break to exercise, even if it’s just a walk in the park. Getting your heart rate going in the middle of the day can provide you with the boost you need to finish strong.
- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
5. Don’t Eat at Your Desk
When you are incredibly busy, it may seem like a good idea to grab lunch and keep working while you eat. This is actually a very bad idea and will waste more time in the long run. The problem is that humans are pretty terrible at multitasking, and eating while trying to work only serves to slow down both processes.
- James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
6. Sync Your Whole Team
Every day we have a 30-minute company-wide lunch where the entire team gathers together to eat and socialize in one room. It’s a time for laughs and fun, but also a great arbitrage opportunity for productivity. Studies show that it can take up to 20 minutes to get back in your groove after an interruption, so we limit interruptions by using lunch to allow everyone to sync all at once.
- Matt Ehrlichman, Porch
7. Take the Full Hour
Downtime is paramount. The one-hour break during your day allows you to recharge and make the rest of your day more productive. So sacrifice the hour on the altar of relaxation in exchange for having a more productive day overall, and don’t feel guilty about it!
- Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group
You are going to eat lunch, so why do it alone? Always eat with a business partner, friend or new associate. Meet new people. There are sites like LetsLunch.com that will pair two people together for a networking lunch.
- Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR
9. Hit the Gym
If you don’t have an understanding boss and a workout-friendly office environment, take advantage of the time you’re given and hit the gym. It will help you be more effective, efficient, confident and creative when you return. Plus, it will let you power through the sugar coma everyone else gets in the early afternoon.
- Derek Flanzraich, Greatist
10. Move, Don’t Work
The worst thing you can do is try to work and eat at the same time. It’s a bad idea. I highly recommend getting up and moving around. Walk to lunch, or after you eat, take a stroll around the block or through the office building. It’s good to walk away from your work environment and get the blood moving.
- John Meyer, Lemon.ly
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