Sterling News

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

5 Ways to be Productive on Your Lunch Break

Ah, lunch! It’s time to take a little break from work, catch your breath and reset for the rest of the day.

But this is one of those days, where things are coming at you from all sides and you feel like you’ll never get caught up.

It’s ok. We’re here to help. Here’s some advice on how to not only catch up but get ahead by using your lunch break productively.

Go for a walk.

Really. Go outside and get some fresh air. Stretch your legs. This will help clear your head, get some perspective and recharge the brain so you can get back to work energized and not feeling sluggish or like your brain is in a blender from the chaos of the morning.

Start taking notes.

Maybe you have a million things to do at work and another million things to do at home. You can’t possibly be expected to be effective at getting them all done at once, in the same day. You’re only human! So take a few minutes during your break and start writing notes and lists. Have a work list and a home list. First, write down everything that needs to get done, or projects you haven’t had a chance to tackle but want to address. Then, take those lists and write a prioritized version, complete with deadlines if you have them (or want to give yourself an extra kick). Now you’ve got your priorities set!


Whether it’s a professional development book or some pulpy crime novella, reading is a great break for your brain. It engages different parts of the brain than work does and allows your creativity to wake up a little bit. Who knows, maybe there’s something in that murder mystery that can help you unlock a puzzling problem at work, helping you be the hero in your own story.

Help yourself get ahead.

If you’re feeling a little stale at work, or like you’re not fully utilizing all your skills, take some time during your lunch break to listen to a podcast or chip away at a course on a topic that interests you. YouTube is filled with tutorials and courses to help you learn just about anything. If you’re having trouble with Excel (and who doesn’t), spend a few minutes searching out training videos and try following along with a blank spreadsheet and now you’re a pro. It’s that simple!

Take a nap.

You don’t have to turn into George Costanza and build a little fort under your desk, but if you have an office, close the door and set a 15-minute timer on your phone. Close your eyes for a few minutes. No office? Find an empty conference room or go out to your car. Just a quick nap can do wonders to wake you up and provide a little recharge for the rest of your day.

Your lunch break is YOUR time. Use it to your advantage! You’ll be surprised how much better you feel, and how much more you can get done, if you use your time wisely (or for fun).


In need of a change of pace? Consider job searching with Sterling Personnel!

If you’re feeling stuffy and stuck in your job and want to make a change, get in touch with Sterling Personnel. We have partnerships with excellent companies looking for someone just like you! Give us a call today and let’s get started.