Productivity. For the modern worker, it’s more than a buzzword — it’s a lifestyle. There are productivity role models, apps to help you work smarter, and a plethora of services designed to eliminate the inefficient habits of unproductive people, like grocery shopping or leisurely eating.
But is all of this really making us more effective employees? In our new blog series, “Worksmart,” we’re putting so-called productivity “best practices” to the test to see what really works and what advice you can forgo.
Eating Through Lunch Could Hurt Your Performance
First up — lunch. What was formerly a sacred hour for friends and food has become an unfortunate casualty of our nine-to-five (or seven-to-seven) hustle. Recent studies have shown, however, that working through lunch can negatively impact performance.
In an interview with NPR, Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, who studies workplace psychology, explained the correlation between breaks and the type of non-linear work most of us do: “Staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It’s also detrimental to doing that rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha’ moment.”
Most of us know this instinctively yet struggle to step away when tasks start piling up. The reasons why vary. Guilt, perceived judgement, and stress can all keep us tied to our desks.
Could just a 30-minute break and the productive, refreshed mind it promises be enough to make up for lost time? For one week, our test team took a real lunch break every day to find out.