Practically everyone eats at their desk, but it’s really not the finest idea. You’ve probably heard that it’s something you shouldn’t be doing, but you honestly can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t just continue. After all, you spend the rest of your eight hour day at your desk, what difference could taking a break for lunch possibly make?
Well, for openers, it could make you feel a lot better about your job.
Think about the reasons why you’ve been eating at your desk:
You Do It Because You Have To
Do you really? Is your position at work so important that the company will come apart at the seams if you take half an hour, or even a full hour, to go out somewhere to lunch, or even just to the lunchroom to have a proper, uninterrupted meal? Or worse, is your position so unimportant that you feel you could be easily replaced at any moment, and that’s why you stick around? Just in case the boss comes along and wants you to perform some mundane task? Listen, the company invested money in hiring you and training you – you’re not going to be out of a job because you weren’t there in case the boss wanted someone to count her paperclips.
You Do It Because It’s Productive Time
The level of productivity that you’re actually getting during the half hour to an hour that you’re having lunch at your desk is minimal. You’d be much better off going out somewhere, taking a walk, seeing something other than your office or cubicle, and coming back. For that matter, you’d be better off sitting in the lunchroom reading a book. Focusing on something else for a short period of time means that you’ll come back to your desk refreshed and rejuvenated. The fact is, people don’t really multitask effectively – they just think they’re good at it. You need to focus on one thing to be really good at it, so focus on lunch. Then come back and focus on work.
People don’t really multitask effectively – they just think they’re good at it.
You Do It So You Don’t Lose Your Momentum
That’s nonsense. If you’re constantly in work mode, then you’re just going to end up tired, or, over the long term, burned out, and then you won’t be good at your job. And if you take a lunch break, you won’t lose your momentum. Chances are that thoughts will still be whirling around in the back of your mind, perhaps even without you being aware of them, and when you finally get back to your desk, you’ll be prepared to tackle the work at hand with a fresh new perspective. Sometimes, just spending some time away from your desk can be stimulating, and you might even find you get inspiration for seeing people and things that are outside your normal frame of reference.
Get away from your desk at lunch time.
The world isn’t going to come to an end, and it’s really not healthy for you to be so single-mindedly immersed in your work. So go out to a bistro or sandwich shop, or even brown-bag your lunch to work and go eat in the park. Watch people go by. Do something nice for yourself that will enable you to go back to the office and really focus on what needs to be done instead of trying to juggle a spreadsheet in between bites of food. There are all kinds of good reasons not to eat at your desk. There are no reasons for continuing to do so that make sense on any level.