How to Hack Your Lunch Hour

The importance of taking a lunch break cannot be understated. Both for your mental health as well as your physical health, your lunch break offers you an opportunity to decompress and take a break from the task at hand. But, unfortunately, not enough Americans take an actual lunch break. And while it’s important to eat, it’s equally as important to take your lunch break away from your desk. To help motivate you to take a complete break and check out something new, the team at Soda created an infographic full of content to binge to come back to work more productive and inspired than ever before.

But before we dig into their recommendations, it’s important to understand the lunch habits taking place across the country and why it’s so crucial to take a real break each day. According to the New York Post

  • 51% of consumers said it was unrealistic that they would be able to take a full lunch break away from their work each day.
  • Around 30% of workers are eating lunch at their desk every single day.
  • When taking a working lunch, consumers reported feeling:
    • tired – 44%
    • stressed – 31%
    • overwhelmed – 24%
    • exhausted – 26%
    • anxious – 20%

As shown by the above data, it’s clear that American’s aren’t prioritizing stepping away from the work at hand to nourish their bodies and relax. A lot of this has to do with the idea that doing so makes you less productive, but that actually isn’t true. In fact, studies have shown that taking regular lunch breaks can boost your productivity and taking in new content during those breaks can actually make you more successful. And that skipping those lunches every day can contribute to burnout in the long run.

To help you avoid the dreaded burnout and boost your productivity levels, the team at Soda has put together a list of ten TED Talks, podcasts and documentaries to watch while eating that will inspire. From podcasts covering powerful women in male-dominated industries to documentaries highlighting the journey of successful entrepreneurs, these pieces of content make a great fit for those in all industries. Check out a synopsis of each recommendation below:

  • How to Make Stress Your Friend, TED Talk by Kelly McGonigal

McGonigal explores the body’s physical response to stress and how our perception of stress can radically change its purpose.

Great for those in high-stress jobs, those who are looking for a new perspective and those who have trouble signing off.

  • Hidden Brain, podcast hosted by Shankar Vedantam.

NPR takes a deep dive into the human condition, the science behind decisions and how to make lasting changes to our lives. 

Great for those who are looking to make a change, are in need of internal reflection or who want to understand others better.

  • Dare to Disagree, TED Talk by Margaret Heffernan.

Heffernan highlights the importance of disagreeing and how to disagree in a productive manner.

Great for those who collaborate frequently, don’t often speak up or often avoid confrontation.

  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi, documentary directed by David Gelb. 

Learn about the art of perfectionism and the importance of focusing on the customer from Jiro Ono.

Great for those in marketing, that own a small business or have a restaurant.

  • Great Women in Business, podcast hosted by Vanessa Richardson and Molly Brandenburg.

This limited series profiles amazing women in a variety of industries and how they fought against gender issues and sexism throughout their careers.

Great for those who are facing sexism, that are in male-dominated industries or who want to be inspired.

  • Something Ventured, a documentary directed by Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine.

Something Ventured follows the journey of some of the biggest companies in the world to learn the role of venture capitalism in their success.

Great for those that are looking for investors, who own a startup or are curious about the history of business.

  • Forget Multitasking, Try Monotasking, TED Talk by Paolo Cardini.

While a majority of society takes on multiple projects at once, this short TED Talk by Paolo Cardini explores the benefits of monotasking.

Great for those on the verge of burnout, who are looking to destress and trying to be more present.

  • Bloomberg Game Changers, a documentary by Bloomberg Television.

This documentary series interviews major players in finance, tech, and other important industries to learn what it takes to be a game-changer.

Great for those who are looking to establish themselves, who want to lead and hope to make an impact.

  • Invisible Office Hours, a podcast hosted by Jason Zook and Paul Jarvis.

This podcast discusses freelance issues in-depth including how to stay optimistic and dealing with tough feedback.

Great for those starting a side hustle, looking to shake up their career or those in need of career advice.

  • How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You From Getting Things Done, TED Talk by Yves Morieux.

Morieux breaks down how cooperation, and a bit of rule-breaking, can benefit every industry and help workers become more productive.

Great for those who feel stifled at work, are looking to restructure their teams or are in need of creative inspiration.

By Guest

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