Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ladies (and Gents!) Who Lunch

Ladies Who Lunch is a term that originated in a Broadway musical to describe well-off women who have time for long, leisurely lunches. As a professional with a busy schedule, you probably wouldn't consider yourself a lady who lunches, but you should, sort of. I'm not advocating taking a two-hour, three martini lunch in the middle of the workday but I am advocating using your lunch time and taking your breaks.

Did you know, according to a 2010 survey by Right Management and Linked In, only 47% of American workers take a lunch away from their desks? Twenty percent eat at their desk, and 13% seldom or never take a lunch break at all.

Many employers even frown on taking a lunch. It looks like you are being more productive if you are tethered to your desk all day long. But guess what? Taking a lunch and maybe even a mid-morning or afternoon break actually makes you more productive. Your body and your mind need that breather. It needs the time away for physical nourishment and mental regeneration.

I too have been victim to task master bosses who equate lunch with slacking off but I also know that I feel better and my work is better if I take a breather. On nice days, I might eat at my desk while working, but I do it so I can take a short brisk walk afterwards.My methods may be unconventional but my results can't be denied.

Even if it's just 15 minutes, make a effort to get up and have a real lunch away from your desk. For those precious few moments: enjoy your food, chat with a co-worker, read a book, thumb through a magazine, play a game on your phone or take a short walk. Do something but do it away from your desk and make sure it's not work.

Be a lady (or gentleman) who lunches!