It was very much a thing at my last job that I was never anywhere to be found at lunch time. As soon as 1pm swung by, the backpack was on and I was power walking away to wherever I was going. I didn’t need company. No one’s going to find me. I’m off. I’ll be back at 2pm. The truth is that my lunch breaks were sacred to me. My job literally told 7am – 6.30pm from me, and I needed to make sure I took as much back from that as possible.
I had big ambitions – the goal was to escape 9-to-5 work in a relatively short time period, so needed to work hard on my businesses in the spare time I had. A lot of that time was occupied with a new baby. I didn’t make it easy on myself, but I knew the long-term benefits were major, so I can put up with a hectic workload for a couple of years.
The easiest way to take back my time was to work on my own projects while I was on the train to and from the workplace. It was the perfect environment to write blog posts, so a lot of the content on here was created while I was on the move. I had nearly an hour to work with each way; far too much time to waste by scrolling through social media or something. But that’s light – everyone keeps themselves occupied on their commutes somehow – I needed to squeeze all I could out of my work days, and lunch breaks served that purpose.
So what was I actually doing with that time? I worked near Regents Park, so walked there and found a bench (regardless of the whether) and would find videos, blogs and information about ways to improve my businesses and become more efficient. It meant that when I did get home, I was getting a lot more done than I otherwise may have. That extra screen time probably wasn’t helping, but the fact I was escaping to a park midway through my work day made things so much more manageable. (I swear I doubt I could have done six months there if I didn’t do this).
If you find yourself in a position like I did – working a 9-to-5 job, but you know you’re capable of creating a business that can sustain yourself – you need to make sacrifices. Only you will know what is suitable for you, but I found that lunch breaks were an easy way to get some of my time back. I had a limited time in the evenings (a time when my decision-making wasn’t on its best form) and I much preferred having my weekends free to do things with my family
Lunch breaks became one of my most productive times, and you can do the same with yours.