- THE MAGAZINE
When the busy season hits, most of us are guilty of dashboard dining. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means we don’t have time to stop and eat lunch so we roll through a fast food drive-in and eat as we drive. If we’re really patient, we’ll take all of two minutes to pull over in the parking lot, pile the food up on the dashboard and swallow our food whole without coming up for air.
Some people in an office order in and eat away while they’re trying to handle the phones, computers and more.
What’s worse than all of this is skipping lunch altogether. I should know I used to do that all the time years ago.
It didn’t help my weight since I was generously only 40 pounds heavier than I should have been according to my doctor and my knees. The reason is simple. When I skipped meals especially late at night when I was running calls, I would finally stop to eat and now I was ravenous and I’d eat everything that wasn’t nailed down.
Fortunately, a smart mentor of mine schooled me about the need to stop even if it’s just for 30 minutes to recharge the batteries and to shake off what’s transpired.
The funny thing is when I got disciplined about this good habit I was actually more effective and more productive than when I’d either wolf down my lunch or skip it altogether.
I taught my good friend who had a monstrously stressful job [you know it was bad if I who was working 7 days a week and long into the night thought he had it worse!] to stop for lunch.
At first, he resisted the idea of telling me, “I’m way too busy.”
I continued to ask him, “What time do you get home now?”
He said, “Usually, it’s 9 PM or later.”
I replied, “So what if you get home at 9:30 PM or later? Try taking a 30-minute lunch break even it’s just for a week and let me know how it goes.”
He called me up one week later astounded, “I can’t believe it. I’ve been taking a 30-minute lunch now for a whole week, and so far I’m getting home around 8 PM and I’m so much more productive at work. How can that be?”
I laughed and responded, “That’s because you’re feeding your brain as well as your body. Plus, you’re taking a break and shaking off the mounting stress from the morning, which puts you in better shape to handle the rest of the day. What you used to do was carry what I call “rocks in your pocket” which is stress. Lunch was a perfect time to empty your pockets!”
Are you still skeptical?
Check out this story I stumbled upon while on a recent business trip.
Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
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