How do you spend your lunch break?
Ever think to grow your business in your lunch break? Whether you are a corporate employee or have your own business, how you spend your lunch break will effect your business/career success AND your health…
There are two main problems that most people suffer with when it comes to the ‘Lunch Break’ and they are:
Problem 1- No Lunch Break:
Do you bolt down a sandwich whilst walking quickly back from Waitrose, checking your phone as you rush, or do you devour your homemade salad, not leave your desk and work through without a break?Or worse still do you skip lunch altogether because you are just too busy? A common complaint I hear is about lunch time getting squeezed down to ten minutes, or to nothing at all, with people eating on the fly or eating while hunched over their computers,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work.
Why does this happen? Is it because we are so work obsessed that we can’t see the benefit of actually taking a break?
Are we scared to loose our jobs, or that there is not enough time in our day to get everything done so we must work through?
I would say that all of these are the reasons we don’t think we should take a lunch break, I know because this used to be how I thought.
But if you are one of the people who do not take a lunch break it is affecting your success at work, it is harming both your productivity and your health!
In fact taking time to eat and recharge is better for you (your wellness) and business (recharge and refuel) than not taking a break.
You should be as strategic about your lunch break as you are about every other moment in your day. It is critical to make the most of this lunch hour and remind yourself that taking a proper break will enable you to achieve more in the long run.
Here are some points as to why you should take a break:
- Eating whilst continuing to check emails, etc. can lead to ‘mindless eating’, which can cause people to overeat and/or eat the wrong foods and therefore gain weight.
- There are obvious health benefits to getting away from work and out into the fresh air. Sunrays stimulate the body to produce Vitamin D and encourage the production of serotonin (a hormone that plays an important part in the regulation of mood).
- Desks and keyboards often harbour high levels of bacteria (sometimes even more than toilet seats) and any food dropped onto computer keyboards can actually feed these bacteria. (Yuck!)
- Getting away from our desks and moving around helps prevent the onset of musculoskeletal disorders (from prolonged poor posture) and potentially deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can be caused by long periods of sitting.
As you can see a lunch break is essential, but when you are running your own business, a lunch break is precious time that is often regarded as unable to be spared! So how do you have a break and not waste the time?
Problem 2 – Wasted lunch break
This one is more for the Thriving Entrepreneur than the employee, as an employee tends to get ‘paid by the hour’ so their lunch breaks are precious to them. But for the entrepreneur our lunch breaks can be a missed opportunity, and something we need to utilize!
One of my most success hungry, passionate and favorite mentors (Grant Cardone) has taught me that using your lunch break wisely is a great tool to grow your start- up business.
Here is what he teaches in his book ‘Sell Or Be Sold’.
Grants mentor spoke to him one day about his lunch break, which he took every day with one of his friends. The conversation goes a little something like this:
“Grant, why do you go to lunch with Jeanne?” Grant replies ” Jeanne is a work friend of mine we always lunch together”
Grant’s mentor then goes on to stress that Jeanne isn’t a customer, or a potential customer and although they are friends, Jeanne will never buy his product or services.
Grant apparently stopped lunching with Jeanne and used the traditional lunch break to dine with clients and potential clients, and he also stated that because of this his revenue increased.
So what is the lesson here? The lesson is that if we use our lunch break to dine with prospects, joint venture partners, clients, past clients etc. we are using this lunch break time wisely, and getting out of the office! It’s a great way to be healthier, and richer!
And if you don’t have any lunch dates booked, just taking the break and going to busy restaurants and get out of the office will mean that you will bump into prospects. And it gives you a chance to stretch your legs.
If you apply the ‘three feet rule’ of ‘Pitch anyone who is within 3 feet of you’ then this ‘taking a lunch break thing’ starts to really catapult your success. Smile at others, engage in conversation and pitch your heart out.
Whilst many are stuck behind their computers checking Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and emails, you will be out there, pitching, meeting and building relationships, closing deals and pushing business forward.
If you are based in the UK here are some places that are great for business lunches, and where I hang out quite a bit:
So do you take a lunch break, or do you work through it? I would love to hear some great places where you might grow your business in your lunch break with your prospects and clients… it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, we all have the opportunity to be a Global Small Business! Just leave a comment below.