Don’t have time to take a break? Think again! With the help of the Happiness Concierge, claim your lunch hour of power and feel the benefits all day long.

We all know we should be taking some time out from our work to eat our lunch. Of course, there is a vast difference between knowing what we ought to be doing, and what we do. It turns out taking a lunch break is exactly one of those things.
 
In fact, in a recent poll by MLC Centre, 65 per cent of recipients told us they don’t take a lunch break – and, of those who do, only about half take up to an hour.
 
On a mission to combat the (near)death of the lunch break, we caught up with Nick Karpetis from the Happiness Concierge to understand how we can use this golden hour to boost productivity, efficiency and ultimately, happiness. 
 
“It is surprising how many of our clients tell us that they don’t take regular breaks,” says Nick. As MLC Centre’s survey also found, the common reasons we skip a break include a pressure to ‘always be on,’ taking advantage of uninterrupted work time while others are out, and prioritising other commitments. But the opportunity cost, it turns out, can be far greater:
 
“Countless studies tell us taking regular breaks turbo charges our productivity. It gets you out, gives your brain a rest, you’ll have time to not think about work and come back feeling refreshed and revived. This makes employees happier, more efficient and focussed.
 
“Lunch is also a golden opportunity to catch up on life admin tasks like collecting parcels from the post office and picking up the clothes from the dry cleaner; tasks you’d rather not do on the weekend to give you the time to spend with friends and loved ones.”
 
Claim your lunch hour of power and feel the benefits
 
There’s no doubt that even a quick 15-minute walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost your energy for the afternoon. We say, take your lunch break, and use it to the max, filling it with lunchtime eats and productive tasks.
 
So we asked the Happiness Concierge for their top 5 tips to use your lunch hour effectively:
 
1. Batch your days tasks into manageable groups. Batching is when you put similar tasks together to improve productivity. And set aside at least 20 minutes before starting the day to mentally mind-map what you are going to achieve that day and have that on your desk. That way, you’ll be more likely to step away from your desk come lunchtime!

2. Then, break it down: by breaking a task down into smaller chunks you soon realise that it’s actually achievable, and it also gives you an idea of areas where you might need help, whether that be because you need to delegate or it’s an area that might not be your superpower. This can help with overwhelm and ‘task paralysis’ which we see a lot.

3. Audit everything you do and eat for one week: A series of small decisions can lead to unhelpful habits and inefficiencies. The effects can include a sugar crash in the afternoon, having trouble sleeping, anxiety and distraction at work as well as at home. Identify personal ‘circuit breakers’ and accountability buddies at work - and at home - to help you perform at your best.

4. Understand what kind of break you need: If you can, a walk outside is the best; get some sunshine and fresh air, even a small break of 15 minutes can provide great benefits! At other times, some retail therapy might be just what you need, totally taking your mind off work and possibly even getting those new sneakers for your weekend run! Win win!

5. Studies tell us we’re more accountable with friends. Team up with a work buddy and get involved with regular walks, runs or activities (join the Happiness Concierge Running Club!) 
 
And here are just a few things that you can do in your lunch hour of power at MLC Centre to make the most of your lunch break – without ever having to leave the building.
 
  • Drop in your dry cleaning at Maurice Dry Cleaning
  • Pick up some flowers for someone special (or for you!) at Pearsons Florist
  • Get a blow-dry or a quick haircut at Vanquish Hair
  • Shoes need a polish or repair? Pop down to Michel’s Shoe Service
  • Get a close shave at Mr Christo’s Men’s Hairdresser
  • Get those niggling pains checked out at City Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre
  • Chat to the friendly folk at Flight Centre about your next holiday
  • Get that jacket tailored or dress altered at Margaret’s Alterations
  • Have that dentist check-up (that you’ve been putting off!) at Martin Place Dental Health
  • Have a moment of mindfulness, soak up the sun and watch the passers-by on the MLC Centre steps
Click here for the full list of services at MLC Centre. 
 
Nick Karpetis applies his love of technology, people and presenting as Trainer at Happiness Concierge. Previously consulting for Microsoft, Nick’s digital transformation projects across Australia have comprised clients such as the Australian Government, Department of Health, Department of Finance, Comcare and ACCC.
 
He is also a registered ISTQB Trainer for Foundation and Agile extension levels.