We all know how important it is to get away from work at lunchtimes, and have a proper break. Whether you work from home or outside the house, if you work set hours having a break helps with productivity. Plus if you work over a certain time, it’s a legal requirement (in the UK at least) that you have one.
But sometimes it feels like dead time. If you’re a blogger especially, lunch times can be an opportunity to get onto social media, write blog posts, and just generally catch up on the little things you need to do through the day and can’t during working hours. But I find I need that time away from my desk, even if only for half an hour. Even if it’s just a walk, it’s good to be refreshed, chat to colleagues, and have time for a proper lunch.
Over the years I’ve tried lots of activities at lunch times in my different workplaces. Obviously it depends on the time you have, whether you work in the middle of town or in the middle of nowhere, whether you need to make time to eat on top of an activity or can eat while you do it.
Here’s some of my top tips for things to do at lunchtime
If you can’t do sport in the mornings (I really struggle to shift myself out of bed in the morning, plus have school organising to do) or evenings (bedtimes, meals, kids to sort out etc), then lunchtime is a perfect opportunity.
At my current work we have a lot of people who swim at lunchtimes – although I prefer waiting until summer when the outdoor pool is open. And it’s not that embarrassing going in a swimming costume in front of work colleagues because they really don’t notice. We allow 15 minutes to get to and from the pool and dressed, and 30 minutes in the pool
I’ve also managed to fit in squash games at lunches – dependent on distance from the courts, and whether there are showers available.
While I don’t do it, I’ve had several work places where there have been trained fitness instructors as employees, and they’ve done yoga classes or aerobics for colleagues.
Find a craft café to go to, or set up your own crafting club at work or outside. Our work has a few people who get together once a week in our break out area to knit and crochet. They just take a project they’re working on and chat while they craft, but you could have a specific project each time that everyone does.
We set up a photography club at work which has been great fun and a chance to chat about a hobby and learn from each other. We have some meetings in the office, and some we go out to local photography exhibitions and photo walks.
4, Book club
Book clubs are a great excuse to get together and talk books, go and have lunch out or a drink at the same time, and just meet with other people in your work. Or set up one with other friends so you get time out from work colleagues at lunchtimes.
Yes, why not try 10 pin bowling. We had a great fun team social one lunch time. We got in a game each plus quick lunch in an hour (the bowling near us is a 2 minute walk away), so it’s doable and fun. Plus you find out who the competitive people are (yes, that’ll be me!)
Never underestimate a brief walk for boosting productivity. I’ve been part of regular organised work walks before, but now I tend to just grab someone else and go for a wander. Working in the middle of town is dangerous for the wallet, but at least having someone else to chat to, any shopping based walks can focus much better on buying essentials only.
7, Eat out
Eating out with colleagues, or meeting up with other friends for lunch is fun, especially when trying out new places. Yes, it can get expensive (although look out for lunchtime deals or loyalty cards), and you need to find places with decent service (a colleague and I have walked out of a café before after 40 minutes of waiting when we told them up front we only had an hour), but it’s nice to get some time out sometimes.
I’m sure most people use their lunchtimes to do a bit of shopping, catch up on chores and work, but sometimes adding something more constructive to a lunch break makes you feel much more satisfied and ready to work again afterwards.
What do you get up to at lunchtimes? Do you find it different when working from home?