Five panda pointers: How to spend your lunch times wisely!

Aug 14, 2018 12:09:02 PM

How to avoid the ‘eating at your desk’ nightmare!

Our next #PandaPointers segment!

1) Get some exercise in.

If any of you are like me, I love my sleep. So much so, the prospect of getting up at 5am for a morning workout does not happen as often as I intend. It is almost as if my bed does not want me to leave! But, as always, I then get to the end of the day with the same intention to work out and find I am exhausted and drained from work. So, I go home and the second I sit on that sofa … it is game over and I move perhaps for food and of course, bed.

The only other time I can fit in a work out would be my lunch hour (stay with me, it is not as daunting as it sounds). It may be through lack of research or trial but, fitting in a workout on your lunch hour gives you more energy for the afternoon then you realise. Whether your poison is weights, spin class, yoga, hot yoga or just going for a long walk – you are doing something for yourself. Now, no excuses of going back to work hot and sweaty, 99% of places if not 100% will have all the facilities you need, and the busy studios will show you, you were the last to the party! Find something you will enjoy doing and be able to fit into your lunch time. Even half an hour of exercise is better then nothing and that 3-4 times a week adds up!


If you so happen to be in our panda territory for work, have a look at the below studios and give it a try! You might surprise yourself…

Hot Yoga:


Gym 1:

Gym 2:

Spin class:

Cryo freeze location:

2) Finally read that book.

I am sure many of you will beMake-the-most-of-your-lunch-reading hanging your heads in shame shortly when you agree with me that, fitting in reading is hard. Weekends, not a problem. On holiday, the more the better. But…

  • Before work/commuting, usually fall asleep or fall victim to stalking social media
  • After work/commuting, had enough of thinking and may fall asleep
  • Before bed/in bed, eyes glued to the TV or fall asleep

What about lunch times? Whether your reading preference is horror, fantasy, romance or sport it is a way to escape from your laptop screen and work. Find somewhere to sit in your office building, a café or local park, accompanied with your lunch and a coffee! There has been positive research into the practice that reading even for 30 minutes a day can help your brain focus better on the tasks at hand. It is a break from work but one that keeps your brain active!

I do not know about you, but if I can imagine myself on a beach or in a romantic setting with a certain handsome character … I am not complaining!

Here are some book recommendations that might just help ease you into your lunch time breaks:

3) Window shopping

London is a perfect location to spend your pounds on shopping, technology and food! What happens though when the bills have left your account and you see that dress, suit or laptop you have been itching to buy? Window Shop! It may sound more like self-inflicted torture but hear me out.

Instead of giving in to temptation and spending money on credit cards and wages we do not yet have, spend your time looking round the shops on your lunch break and pre-shop. When you spot the outfit or object of your desire, try it on, take it for a spin and put it back on the rails! Tell yourself that when you get to pay day you can buy this. It will, without you realising, give you something to work toward and visualise your goals.

On our desks here at cranberry panda we have a photo frame each of what we are aiming for. Mine for example is to attend the Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico next November. Now every time I go to spend money, let my mind wander or do not have a productive day, I have an incentive to achieve! I am not going to lie, it does take practice and self-control. But nothing is sweeter then a purchase or trip you know you have waited and worked hard for.

4) Network in style

Depending on the industry and sector, networking is either very successful or a potential waste of time. Most of the time, when we think of networking, we think of awkward corporate events with brand new professionals (who really all came for the free food and alcohol).

That is networking arranged by someone else, why not arrange your own? I am not saying put together and expense for a huge event but, if your colleagues and yourself or clients you are working with are free for a lunch or coffee then do it! Get them together to discuss problems at work, news in the industry, potential business deals and new introductions. I do not think many people need an excuse to get out of the office for lunch, so do it with a purpose.

Sitting in a London restaurant having lunch with a group of professionals discussing how to make more money, or further the reach of your brand is what we all came to London for isn’t it?

5) Turn it off.

Sometimes none of the above options will cut it. Whether you hate reading, despise exercise or really do not like your colleagues (you may need to talk to us if that is the case!), then just switch it off.

Turn off your laptop, put your phone on silent and take the time to sit at your desk with no distractions. Most of us spend 5 days of our week staring at the same laptop screen, so take 30 minutes to an hour a day for yourself. Pick up a magazine, scroll through your phone or just eat your lunch with some music on. But making the conscious effort to shut your laptop, gives your brain the all clear to take a breather.

You deserve a break, and if you deep down you don't then work hard and aim to have one of these as your daily treat! It is all about balance!

What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this post - whether you agree, disagree or have your own insight to share, we want to hear from you!


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