There’s been a lot of discussion on LinkedIn recently about strategies to make yourself take a lunch break. I thought workaholism was out of favour? Apparently not. If you find this very difficult to identify with, take a look at my light-hearted work-life balance tips. You’ll never be rich but you’ll certainly be happy and healthy.
Warning: these tips may work for you if you are freelance or a business owner but might get you the sack if you are employed!
1 Don’t set the alarm clock
Before March 2020, I was woken on weekdays with a start by music or chat at 7.30am. Even if I chose a gentle alert, like chimes, they still put me in a grumpy mood. When the first lockdown was announced, my work dried up and I decided to not bother with the alarm clock. Guess what? I now wake up naturally every day before 7.30am. As we’re still in lockdown and you are probably working from home, give it a try. I suggest setting the alarm a little later each day until you get into a rhythm.
2 Don’t check your emails until an hour after you’ve started work
There’s plenty of time during the working day to deal with messages, tasks, etc. Ease yourself gently into the day. You can start worrying later!
3 Take an hour to work on a task of your choice
The first hour at your desk is a great opportunity for concentrating on something you really want or need to do. Resist the temptation to check your mail or answer calls until you’ve done this. Note: I don’t always practice what I preach.
4 Batch your work
Some people swear by the Pommodoro technique, but I find that 25-minute chunks are too short for me to achieve anything. I try to work for an hour and a quarter without any interruptions as this timescale suits me. Any longer than that and I lose my mojo. Take a break, get a coffee, deal with things that might have cropped up during that time before getting back to the next chunk.
5 Have a lunch break!
I’m not talking about having a sandwich at your desk; get out of the office, outdoors if you can, stretch your legs as well as getting some sustenance. Don’t rush back! You can always make the time up later.
Lots of people have an energy dip after lunch so it’s a great opportunity to catch up on blogposts you’ve missed, or to read business books.
7 Don’t beat yourself up
It’s been a tough year and many of us are suffering from ‘brain fog’ from time to time. For me, mid- to late-afternoon is a really productive time, but if it’s not the case for you, you are not alone. We are all doing what we can to keep going and keep our spirits up. Hang on in there.
About the author
Annette Peppis leads the team at Peppis Designworks, a creative hub of established publishing industry experts who create books, branding, marketing material and design templates for leading publishers and businesses. Keep in touch by subscribing to Annette’s bi-monthly emails.