Are you one of the many people who skip their breaks at work? Perhaps you can’t think of anything to do but twiddle your thumbs so you keep working instead. Maybe you believe your boss will look more favorably upon you for putting in extra hours. You may even worry that your co-workers will judge you or think you don’t work as hard if you take time away from your desk. While working more hours may seem like a good way to get ahead, it’s potentially putting you at risk of becoming overworked and stressed.
Studies show that employees who don’t take breaks are less productive overall. In fact, their mental health and work performance suffer over time. The next time you consider eating lunch at your desk, stop worrying about what your boss or your co-workers think, and take a few minutes to try these four productive things to do on your work break instead.
1. Run a Few Errands
In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, people are always running up against the clock. The lunch hour is a great time to tackle a few small errands so you don’t have to do them after work. You can pick up packages, return missed calls, or even schedule short personal appointments, such as a meeting with your financial manager or your doctor.
2. Make Extra Money
Who doesn’t wish they had more money? Day trading is a great way to make money on the side. The best part is that you can buy and sell stocks at your convenience using online day trading portals. As long as you have internet access and a mobile device, you can make trades quickly and easily without the need to get a broker involved.
3. Read a Book
With tight deadlines, back-to-back meetings, and office politics, sometimes you need to escape the real world for a little while. Give your body and soul a reboot by delving into the pages of a good book. From improving your memory and focus to developing stronger writing and analytical skills, there are so many benefits to reading — more than most people realize.
Keep in mind that printed materials create less eye strain than digital devices, so reading on your tablet or smartphone may not be the best option. Grab your favorite physical book, magazine, or newspaper, and find a quiet corner where you kick back for a few minutes.
4. Hit the Gym
The lunch hour is the perfect time to get in a quick workout if there’s a gym near your office. If not, there are plenty of other ways to get physical on your work break. You can always go for a walk around the neighborhood or prepare an easy exercise routine you can do in your workspace that includes stair climbing, wall sits, and chair dips. These simple activities do not require any special equipment.
So many people believe their boss or their co-workers will look down on them for taking a break at work. The truth is that breaks are necessary to keep up productivity and mental well-being. The next time you can’t come up with a good reason to take time away from your desk, think of these four productive things to do on your work break.