We have all done it. You have a deadline to meet. Or you are falling behind with some key task. Or maybe a crisis is in progress. When things like this happen you DO have to buckle down. Just don’t make a steady diet of it (excuse the pun).
When eating at your desk becomes the rule instead of the exception, you may be falling into a trap that holds your career back instead of propelling it forward.
Here are a few reasons why…
Stepping away may help your performance
You are not a machine! Taking a break and clearing your head is important. You need to declutter your mind to be at your best. Have you ever had an ‘aha’ moment when you least expected it? Maybe in the shower or doing something else totally unrelated to the issue itself?
It’s a real thing you know – an aha moment. A sudden insight occurs to you, most likely when you weren’t even thinking about the problem. Taking that break just might get you one.
Find some people to have lunch with. Take your food to the cafeteria or go out once in a while. When you do, try to talk about something else – sports, hobbies, vacation plans, families… When colleagues can be friends, job performance and satisfaction go WAY UP. And your personal network extends…
Your health in general
If you are eating at your desk then you are multitasking. Chances are you aren’t even paying attention to what you are eating. When that happens, you will probably eat more and not even notice or enjoy it.
Pay attention to your food; you will enjoy it more and eat less. Not to mention that all that time sitting can actually make you sick.
Breaking the pattern
Get up and walk around
Getting outside would be even better. A little fresh air. Change of scenery for a few minutes. Deep breaths will help. Pay attention to the break itself. Be present in it – NOT still ruminating about work tasks.
See what your colleagues are doing
Catch up with people. See if you can get them out of their cubicles for a while. Have lunch together. Take a walk together. It is a chance to find out more about them and build bonds that can get you through tough times. Or maybe they will be more comfortable to seek you out for help in the future?
Oh by the way if most people at work eat at their desk a lot, you may want to reconsider your career options. If it is an accepted work norm, it is not a good thing…
Seems simple right?
A break in the middle of the day will help you do your best work. Simple small changes in your work life like this can add up to big wins for you and your career. Really.