When you have a meeting to prep for, several projects to finish, and a million emails to answer, the last thing you want to do is stop working and step away from your desk, especially for lunch. But did you know that staying glued to your computer screen and not getting up is actually hurting your job performance?
It’s time to take a page out of the playbooks of the world’s most successful people. They’re not sitting in their swivel chairs eating a sad desk lunch when the clock strikes noon—here’s what they’re doing instead.
1. They Exercise
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has a word of advice for people trying to keep up their productivity during their lunch breaks: Take time out to exercise.
Williams is actually a huge fan of getting a workout in during the least productive time of his day, and for many people, this is right around lunchtime.
Don’t have time to head to a gym and pump iron? Even taking time to walk outside for 20 minutes or doing a couple of desk stretches can leave you feeling refreshed. Even better, find ways to include your colleagues: Turn your next lunch break walk into a moving meeting!
2. They Head to Lunch With Others
Whether you head out to a restaurant around the corner you’ve been meaning to try or you just sit around the table in your office’s break room, taking time to chat with your co-workers over lunch is highly beneficial for your career. Not only will you get to bond with the people you see in your office day in and day out, but you’ll also gain insight on what role they play in the company’s success.
However, you shouldn’t let your work lunch buddies stop you from growing your network. Billionaire Richard Branson once actually used his lunch break to take a rival out to a meal—doing so allowed him to become friends with his biggest business competitor.
So if there’s a co-worker in the office you’re just not gelling with quite yet or don’t know that well, ask that person to lunch and pick his or her brain. Or, look at your LinkedIn and see if there’s someone outside the company you should be asking to lunch. You never know what’ll come from it.
3. They Nap
Arianna Huffington is known for being a huge supporter of getting enough sleep, and not just at the end of a long day.
Use your lunch break to get a quick nap in at work, whether that means sleeping in the break room or heading to your car. Even just 20 minutes of shut-eye can make all the difference in how you operate for the rest of the workday.
The most successful people out there aren’t hanging out at their desks during lunch, so why should you? Lace up your sneakers, head out to a restaurant, or close your eyes. After all, you’re way too good for sad desk lunches.