How many leisurely lunches do you take in the course of a week or a month? What do I mean by a leisurely lunch? The kind where you leave your desk and go elsewhere, like a restaurant or lunch counter or park bench or picnic table, eat in peace and experience the food by chewing slowly and thoroughly, digest it and linger for a moment afterward until you’re ready head back to work.
This is a concept to remember now, as the holidays make our lives even more frenetic, and later, when many of us try to establish a healthier path for the new year. Yes, that means even meeting and event planners, those titans of multitasking.
So, if you’re not experiencing even one leisurely lunch per week right now, please set a goal for one. If you’re already at one or two, add one more per week. In the course of a month with 20 or 21 working days, if you can get up to five or seven leisurely lunches, the benefits will accrue. You’ll come back to work less stressed, more energized and better able to meet whatever challenges the rest of your day holds.
As a time saver, it may make sense for you to fix five lunches on Sunday night, put them in the freezer, grab the first one on Monday morning and have it ready when the lunch hour arrives. Then you’re not standing in line or waiting for someone to serve you and, most importantly, you know what the ingredients are.
Please, do not gobble your food at warp speed, barely tasting it. This, in the long run, will not make you more productive. Chew it slowly and carefully. Give up reading the newspaper and focus on what’s in your mouth. Old sensations may return. You may actually enjoy your lunch, digest your food better and perform better back on the job. What a deal!
Some people insist on having lunch away from their desks. By getting away from the office, they recharge their batteries and focus on what work lies ahead and how they’ll approach it. They feel that when you stay at your desk too long, every big and small task competing for your attention seems urgent. Been there? We thought so. In any case, please remember the lunch break you have can be as fulfilling as a seven-day vacation.
Do you take a bona-fide lunch break? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts with your fellow meetings professionals in the space below.