It’s a popular notion that we will get more done if we skip lunch. Today hundreds of thousands of people will skip lunch in order to accomplish more at work: “I have too much to do. I can’t make lunch today.” “Lunch is a waste of time. I’ll touch it out and get more done.” “I’m swamped. No time for lunch.” I know—I used to buy into this belief as well.
Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dr. Etienne Grandjean, an expert on productivity at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, says eating a good lunch is highly recommended “for both health and work efficiency.” According to various studies, researchers agree that performance scores plunge when people skip lunch, and found that those who skip lunch soon feel more anxious and tense. Skipping lunch can also slow your metabolism and cut your energy production throughout the day … leading to a ravenous appetite at dinnertime.
Ironically, the desire to get ahead and get more done actually leads to less productivity and burn-out if lunch is skipped on a regular basis. People will often try to compensate for their lack of energy by drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks instead of eating lunch. However, this simply makes a bad mistake worse by causing your body and brain to work harder and harder on less fuel. Our bodies need to recharge with a relaxing lunch break and a satisfying lunch, and instead we’re making our motors work beyond capacity. Eventually our motors will burn out. Think of it this way. A 20-minute lunch will provide you with hours of energy. It’s worth it.