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NEVER Eat Lunch At Your Desk, Ever!


Robby

Here’s a career tip that will benefit you tremendously. Don’t eat lunch at your desk.

Now, I’m not saying you need to each lunch out every day. In fact, it can be expensive to do this.

I’m also not saying that you need to never eat alone, as this book recommends. Eating alone is just fine.

Instead, I’m a big fan of eating somewhere else besides your desk for three reasons:

  1. You keep eating and working separate, so that you don’t make a mess or confuse the two
  2. You get a break from work
  3. You communicate to your colleagues that you are not always there!

Let’s talk about keeping eating and working separate. Consuming food is certainly the main way that we get energy, but it’s also a cultural experience. The way we eat, the type of food we eat and the places we eat are informed by our heritage.

Cramming down a sandwich at your desk doesn’t do much except sustain your body, and probably not very well if you’re trying to get it into your stomach in as few minutes as possible. Take a walk, exercise a little, and enjoy your food.

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As much as I love productivity, I’m also here to tell you that the perhaps the most direct way to increase productivity is to take breaks. If you go out of the office to have lunch, you’re more likely to feel refreshed.

But the best reason of all is because of the message it sends to your coworkers:

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Guess what? None of us have a 24/7 job. If you leave in the middle of the day to go to lunch, you remind people that sometimes they need to wait to get your attention. In today’s fast-paced, instant-messaging, always-connected world, it’s wise to teach others that your schedule is not “whenever they want you.”

Leaving your desk for an hour helps set the expectation that you have things to do besides be available for someone to “drop in.” In fact, the foundation of your success at work is probably what you can do for long stretches of time without supervision. So get out of the office to eat your lunch. There’s no good reason to stay at your desk.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Fri, February 17 2012 » Corporate Culture, Personal Organization, Time Management, Work/Life Balance

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