OK, hands up! Who has ever been guilty of munching a sandwich at their desk while checking their emails or updating their Facebook status? We’ve all practised that particular version of a ‘working lunch’ and it’s not very enjoyable, is it? Taking a proper lunch break not only feels better but also makes you more productive as well, so why not use these tips to make lunchtimes a bit special and improve your efficiency at the same time?
1. Take a healthy packed lunch
I’ve already posted about how you can plan ahead and use your freezer to help create healthy packed lunches that simply burst with flavour. Ring the changes with your menu and don’t rely on the same few favourites, or worse, on a bought sandwich to keep hunger at bay. Treating yourself to a lunch with some culinary pizzazz is the first step towards making lunchtimes special.
2. Make your lunchtime an occasion
Don’t sit at your desk and eat from your plastic container! Find somewhere different to eat, such as the staff coffee area or perhaps by a window, so you’re not looking at the same old view. A change is as good as a rest, so a different view will refresh your mind. You won’t be tempted to carry on working and you’re less likely to spill food or drink on your keyboard, which can only be a good thing!
3. Keep what you need at work
Keep a nice china plate and real cutlery in your locker or desk drawer and you’ll feel you’re having a proper meal. There’s nothing worse than struggling with a lightweight plastic plate or a flimsy fork, so make an effort with your serving and you can kid yourself you’re eating in an haute cuisine restaurant.
4. Have a supply of essential condiments
You don’t want to mess about bringing salt, pepper, mustard or other bits and pieces to work each day. So keep a secret stash of essential supplies in your locker. You can buy small pots or containers of most sauces, dressings or condiments and they don’t take up too much space. Or why not collect little sachets from when you are eating out, such as mayonnaise, vinegar or tartar sauce, which have a long shelf life and hold just the amount you need for one meal?
5. Presentation is everything
Don’t just tip your lunch out onto your plate and dig in. Take a little time to serve it nicely and your lunch will look far more attractive. Again, this will help you feel you are making an occasion of eating rather than just bolting a quick snack.
6. Focus on your food
Studies have shown that if you focus on other things when you’re eating you’re likely to eat more and get hungry again sooner. There’s no point spending time creating a delicious healthy lunch if you’re too distracted to enjoy it! While you’re eating, think about the different flavours and textures and don’t rush – again, eating quickly doesn’t give your body’s ‘feeling full’ mechanism a chance to kick in.
If you’ve time, go outside a breath of fresh air after you’ve eaten, perhaps by taking a brisk walk or even just standing outside for a few moments. You’ll be amazed at how taking a proper lunch break will help you to get back to work feeling refreshed, invigorated, and ready to tackle anything the afternoon throws at you.
Coming next: Healthy Packed Lunches for Children: How to Involve Your Child
Image courtesy of Jennifer Chait from Flickr Creative Commons