Right now, do you feel like you don’t have the time or energy to accomplish everything you want during the day? The solution that will not only keep you energized, but also enhance your efficiency throughout the second half of your day is surprisingly simple: make sure you have an energizing lunch.
“Lunch is a critical time of the day for me. I need a mental and emotional break and time to recharge my energy for an effective afternoon.”
The Energizing Lunch is a concept presented by Greg Salciccioli in 7 Enemies of Excellence. In his book, Greg talks about doing something in the middle of your day to re-energize yourself.
One reason why most people fail to have an energizing lunch is because of a perceived lack of time. Too often, people believe they are too busy to take a step back and recharge. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes the seventh habit as “sharpening the saw.” He mentions that it’s important to take a step back in order to take many steps forward. His analogy imagines a lumberjack cutting down a tree. If the lumberjack continues sawing without stopping to sharpen his saw, it will eventually become dull and his work will become much more difficult. To stay effective, the lumberjack has to stop to sharpen his saw in order to stay effective. Even though it may take time to sharpen the saw, the lumberjack will ultimately cut down the tree faster and with less effort by always having a sharp saw.
The same applies to your body and mind. Every so often, you have to stop what you’re doing in order to stay sharp. All of us have a busy life around work or school. We constantly work at consuming information but we rarely take a moment to recharge.
I know the power of an energizing lunch first hand. For many years as a District Manager at Cutco, I would work right through my workday, failing to take a break and eat an energizing lunch. And when I would take a lunch break, it would be a stressful experience that involved picking a restaurant, waiting in traffic, and then rushing to make sure I would be back in the office on time. It was too easy to avoid taking a break, especially when I was busy assisting fellow managers while trying to complete my own tasks on time. Being so occupied, I would forget to take 30 minutes to recharge.
But recharging halfway through your day is so important. Most people choose to work right through lunch, but doing so sets you up for a less efficient rest of the day. When you only have 30 to 60 minutes for lunch and you’re already stressed from the workday, then fill your body with barely nourishing foods that drag your energy down the rest of the day – not to mention the amount of money you’re spending to eat poorly – it’s no wonder you can’t stay motivated and energized for the second half of your day.
The solution is to use your lunchtime as a way to energize yourself to dominate the rest of your day.
Three Components of an Energizing Lunch
Key components of an energizing lunch include eating healthy, taking time to relax with meditation and gratitude, getting the blood pumping with a walk or rebounding session, and, finally, looking at how you’ll tackle the second half of your day.
When it comes to eating a healthy lunch, it’s important to include fruit, salad greens, or smoothies to your lunch. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself craving a pick-me-up coffee or energy shot.
It’s equally important to put your mind in a positive space. If you’re having a stressful day, taking a break to meditate for 10 minutes – the Headspace app is perfect for this – can help tremendously. Another option is to think about what you’re grateful for and what you’re accomplishing today. On a busy morning, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects of your day. This is the time to get into a space of gratitude and look at your wins. You’ll feel much better about yourself and you’ll be in a better place the rest of the day.
To maximize your energizing lunch, you’ll need to get the body pumping. Sitting at your desk all day will leave you lethargic. Your body is not designed to sit in front of your box-like computer in your box-like office and talk on your box-shaped phone. Your body is designed to move. Unfortunately, today’s working environment makes it hard to move much throughout the day. Your energy and opinion of yourself will improve tremendously if you take just 10 minutes to rebound or take a brisk walk. The point is not to do anything strenuous and work up a sweat – just to get the blood pumping and your body will feel great.
Energizing Miracle Lunch (Get out of the office for 30-45 minutes)
Tip: Set alarm on phone with an inspirational quote to go off 5 minutes before lunch
15-25 minutes – Healthy homemade lunch (salad, smoothie, fruit)
5-10 minutes – Peace
- What are you grateful for?
- Are we on track with our intentions today?
- What wins have I already had today?
5-10 minutes – Get the blood pumping to take MASSIVE ACTION the rest of the day
- Jumping jacks
- Deep breaths