Lunch Breaks Are Not For Losers

terrified-sandwich-283x300I am an active member of the “I don’t take a lunch break” club.

I make my food then return to my desk to eat with one hand on the fork and one hand on the keyboard.

I eat without tasting my food because I’m focused on the job rather than the meal. Yes, this results in many accidental chomps on my tongue or cheek. And, for spilled food on my desk.


But why?

I get a lunch break–it’s not that I have people telling me not to take one. I just have this engrained idea from who knows where that it’s looked down upon, as a salaried worker, to step away from the job and eat a meal without the computer screen in front of you. There are very few and rare days where I will take a lunch break and I’m filled with guilt–think of all of the tasks I could have accomplished if I would have just eaten my lunch at my desk!

Lunch breaks are NOT for losers!

Where in the world does this come from and why do I give it so much power?

I stumbled across this article today titled A Lunch Manifesto by @lunchstudio. The first words in the post state:

A drained brain needs nourishment.

True! But, can’t I get the nourishment while working at the same time?

According to many of the posts I’m finding on this topic, you’re actually more productive and efficient if you take a 30 minute lunch break. It fires up your creative juices and keeps the energy flowing for the rest of the day.

With so many customers to help, don’t you want to give them all of your zest and awesomeness? Lunch breaks can give you the energy to do JUST that. 

In order to help nix this bad habit of mine and minimize the guilt associated with it, I took to finding articles online about understanding why it is important. Here’s a smidge of proof I found online from some reliable sources (there are SO many articles and studies on this topic):

CNN: Why Taking Lunch Makes You A Better Employee

FastCompany: 8 Reasons Why You Should Definitely Take That Lunch Break

Time: Lunch Hour: Is Lunch A Waste Of Time–Or A Productivity Booster? 

I figured why not give this a shot and set up a challenge:

Next week, I will take a 30 minute break, every day, to eat my lunch away from my desk.

Holy moly–just writing that out is scary.

But what the heck, it’s worth a shot? I’ll be able to measure if I’m more productive this way and report back to you.


If you’re in the same club as I am and are up for the challenge, join me!


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  • I must be your polar opposite: I have to get away from at least my desk (if not my physical office) during my lunch break! If at all possible I try to eat at a nearby park and take a short walk while listening to music or podcasts that are completely unrelated to work.
    Best of luck with your experiment, I hope it is successful and gives you some insight about the things you can accomplish away from your desk!

    • Jenny Dempsey

      Alicia, thank so much for reading my post and for your well wishes! We definitely do sound like polar opposites! Did you ever struggle with getting out of the office during your lunch break or was it just something you always knew you had to do?

      • Good point…I guess I’ve always felt a little physically cooped if I have to be indoors all day, but the clincher for me was working at a B2B tech company with a toxic, work-aholic boss. Almost everyone working there brought their lunch or would go out to buy it and then come straight back, so I did feel quite a bit of pressure to stay in, but the atmosphere in the office was so bad that after a while I really felt like I had to “escape” every day, if only for a few minutes. I invited some of my coworkers to come with me to a nearby park or on quick walks during lunch, and eventually other people started eating out of the office, too. Thankfully I don’t work there any more (again, the environment was pretty much unbearable for me), and the place where I work now is a lot freer; in fact, I think a majority of people eat away from their desks.

        • Jenny Dempsey

          Alicia, I’m SO glad you were able to get out of that toxic work environment. I wonder how many of us feel that pressure to eat lunch at our desks because others do it too? Maybe it comes down to culture at work?

  • But what about breakfast and dinner? You’re not truly dedicated unless you give up everything for your clients! NOT! A happy life is a balanced life. Filled with personal time, business time, me time, you time and certainly Harley time. Now go eat your lunch. Xo

    • Jenny Dempsey

      HAHA yup, Doug, you are right on! Let me ask–did you ever struggle with taking breaks during work or did you always find that you just did it because you knew that balance?

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