8 things unsuccessful people always do on their lunch breaks

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What do you do at lunchtime?

Do you chow down on whatever slop the cafeteria is serving or head to a Michelin-starred gastropub for a culinary delight?

Perhaps you exercise, socialize, or take time to prioritize the tasks you need to do in the afternoon.

Or maybe you only do things that work against you and sabotage your success.

Many people all around the world are wasting their lunch breaks by doing the wrong things with them. If you want to know if you’re one of them, check out these eight things unsuccessful people always do on their lunch breaks and try to avoid them

1) They work

Why do unsuccessful people work through their lunch breaks?

I’d argue that it’s not usually working through lunch that makes them unsuccessful. Instead, they’re probably working through lunch because they’re not succeeding with what they need to do during their working hours.

This suggests one of a few situations.

They may not be effectively planning out their days in the mornings or their weeks at the start of each one. If they’re not planning, they probably forget things and use their time inefficiently.

It could also be that they’re working in jobs that don’t match their skills well. Many people push themselves into jobs that pay well or seem interesting and exciting, only to find that they’re not well-suited to them. 

They struggle to keep up and end up working during what should be their breaks.

One other situation that could be happening is that working through lunch is part of the company culture. They see others doing it and feel pressure to do the same.

They might get lots of work done, but the only thing they’ll succeed at is burning out.

2) They skip lunch

My dad used to sip lunch quite frequently when he was still working.

Despite the fact that his office actually had a great cafeteria and was downtown surrounded by loads of luscious culinary offerings, he’d still miss meals regularly.

Why?

I don’t actually know.

He said he wasn’t hungry, but I think it was more likely that he was intensely focused on his work because he’s like that. I think he was hungry but didn’t notice.

But at home, everyone noticed.

You always knew Dad skipped lunch because he came home a snarling beast.

His blood sugar would crash sometime on his way home, and by the time he walked through the door, he was always exhausted and extremely irritable.

Skipping lunch means that you’re probably fasting through an eight-hour plus workday, and even really great slow-release low glycemic index foods can’t carry you for that long.

Your brain and body need calories for energy!

3) They eat at their desks

My grammar checker wanted me to change this title to “They eat their desks.”

I think that would be only slightly worse.

Eating at your desk is both inefficient and unsatisfying.

When you’re working and eating at the same time, you’re not focused enough on your work to do it efficiently, and you’re not enjoying your meal enough to make it satisfying.

Sheesh!

Just take five and wolf it down if you’re really under pressure.

Then you can at least get the crumbs out of your keyboard.

4) They choose something “cheap and easy”

Rather than rewarding themselves with food that’s nutritious and delicious, many people choose to grab something that’s as cheap and fast as possible.

Not all fast food is bad for you, of course. It usually takes a lot less time to whip up a salad than it does to fry a greasy burger.

But in general, foods that are cheap and convenient, the kind you’re going to find pre-wrapped and ready-to-eat, are ultra-processed and really not great for you.

They’re usually loaded with sugar, salt, ultra-refined carbs, and fat. 

They’re easier to digest, and that means you can actually gain more weight from eating them, even compared to unprocessed foods with the same calorie count!

Choosing food with some more nutrition would be a great way to give yourself a midday boost and protect your health overall.

5) They stay awake

Isn’t napping for lazy people?

If it is, call me lazy!

I really love taking a power nap, and here’s why. When I do it right, I feel even better waking up from the nap than I do waking up in the morning. I get energized, and I feel more creative.

But there’s a catch.

We humans have evolved here on Earth, which I’m sure you’ve noticed has a 24-hour day cycle. So, we have a natural sleep-wake cycle of the same length.

We normally get sleepy at night, but we also naturally experience a dip in energy in the early afternoon, on average between 1:00-3:00 p.m.

This is the perfect time to take a nap, so if your lunch break coincides with this period, you might just be in luck.

But even if it doesn’t, a quick nap can be incredibly refreshing.

It’s ideal to sleep for less than 20 minutes, or else you risk falling into deep, stage three sleep, which is hard to wake from and leaves you feeling groggy.

So, if you need a quick nap, take one if you can. Keep it short and you might just find you wake up with way more energy and motivation.

6) They stay sitting down

If you’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking, there’s a really good reason for it.

More and more of us are turning to jobs that keep us working at computer terminals rather than manual work or jobs with tasks that make us get up and move.

There’s nothing at all wrong with sitting per se, but sitting for long periods and being inactive is tremendously bad for you.

It’s linked with an increased risk of diabetes, some cancers, and high blood pressure. Inactivity also leads to weight gain and causes your muscles and bones to become weaker.

Plus, it just makes you feel stiff and achy!

People who sit all day for their jobs should try to get in some exercise or at least some physical activity over their lunch breaks, like hitting the gym for a mini workout, walking, stretching, or even yoga.

If they don’t, and they just keep n sitting in one place, they’re going to experience poor health down the line.

7) They don’t fulfill their social needs

It really depends on what your social needs are, but unsuccessful people don’t take advantage of their breaks from work to fulfill theirs.

Here’s what I mean.

If you’re working in a job that sees you isolated and working alone at a desk all day, lunchtime may be your only good opportunity to socialize with others. 

This can help you blow off steam, share your experiences and relate to theirs, and just feel less lonely. You can also take advantage of this time to network and learn from other people.

Or you can just continue to be alone.

On the other hand, you might have a people job that demands you interact with others throughout your whole workday. If you’re a bit of an introvert, you can definitely find this really exhausting.

But instead of taking some much-needed alone time during their midday breaks, many people feel obligated to continue being social.

The whole point is that you have specific social needs and your lunch break is a great time to see to them.

However, if you don’t practice self-care at this time, you’ll have less chance of feeling happy and successful.

8) They take extra-long breaks

If you think taking long, leisurely lunches are linked with successful lifestyles, think again.

Sure, some people might take a long lunch every once in a while as a reward for themselves, but for the most part, successful people keep their breaks short and effective.

They know that time is even more valuable than money since you can never make more once it’s spent, so they structure their schedules accordingly.

However, unsuccessful people will waste time by taking really long breaks that drive down their overall productivity for the day.

If you’re taking something like a two-hour lunch, one of two things is probably going on. 

Either you’re just succeeding in stretching out your workday because you need to stay at work later to get everything done, or you’re simply not getting everything done.

It’s also possible that you’re under-utilized in your job and you don’t have enough work to actually keep you busy all day. But that’s not a great position to be in because you’re not being challenged or pushing yourself toward great success.

Conclusion

These eight things unsuccessful people always do on their lunch breaks are part of bigger patterns. 

Unsuccessful people don’t manage their time well, don’t push themselves, and don’t look after themselves adequately.

This adds up to a life full of obstacles and failures, and it all starts with lunch!

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Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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