Heading to the gym, doing your online grocery shop or spending time volunteering are just some of the things you can do during your lunch hour. That’s according to the team at London Offices who have looked at some of the most productive ways to spend the free hour in the middle of the day.
And those hours soon add up – the average worker will have five hours’ worth of breaks during the week and around 240 over the course of the year.
Working out is a popular way to spend the hour-long break and leaves you mentally prepared and ready for the afternoon.
Taking a power nap is a great idea if you’ve had a busy morning, as is picking up a book and indulging your passion for reading.
Chris Meredith from London Offices said: “The lunch hour is there for a reason and it is important for employees to take a proper break. There will always be occasions when that break won’t happen, but just taking 30 minutes away from your desk will help you feel refreshed for the afternoon.
“An hour doesn’t sound like a huge amount of time but it’s surprising just what you can get done. From run of the mill errands that you normally save up for the weekend to spending an hour power walking, there really is lots you can do that will make you more productive when you sit back down at your desk.”
If you’re a member of a nearby gym, who not head down for a lunch time session on the weights or if you’re short on time, a 20-minute-high intensity workout. If the gym isn’t your thing, try a power walk. In an hour, you can easily cover between three to four miles. If you’ve had a tough morning, this is a great way to de-stress.
Read a book
Try picking up a literary classic or some contemporary fiction and head to a local park for an hour to bury yourself in a book. If it’s raining, find a quiet corner of the office instead. An hour’s escapism will leave you ready to face the afternoon.
Have a quality ‘me hour’ and treat yourself to a blow dry or a manicure. It may sound indulgent, but if your lunch hour is the only time you get to yourself, then make the most of it. You’ll head back to the office feeling totally relaxed.
Eat with a friend
Eating is a must during your lunch hour so catch up with a friend, have a good natter and something delicious to eat. Any stresses from the morning with be forgotten by the time you sit back down.
Use this time to book a holiday, arrange to see friends, go away with family or book tickets to the theatre. It’s one more thing to tick off your to do list.
Broaden your mind
Ever wanted to learn a language? Take better photos? Or enrol on an online learning course? Do it in your lunch hour and you gain five hours study time a week.
Have a nap
If you’ve had a tough morning or are struggling to stay alert, why not have a power nap? You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon.
If you’re new to the area, spend your lunch hour getting to know it. You could take a look round local museums and churches or explore the back street to find hidden gems.
Pay your bills, do your online grocery shop, book your car in for an MOT – these errands all take time, but can easily be squeezed into your lunch hour leaving you more time to relax at the weekend.
Why not give an hour each week to a charity or local organisation? You could read with children in a local school, help out in at an elderly care centre or join a befriending scheme at your local hospital.