Finding the time to get things done is a huge struggle that many bloggers and biz owners deal with especially if they also work a 9-5. How are you supposed to get things done consistently if you barely have any down time? A 9-5 sucks up 11-13 hours of your day itself when you factor in getting ready for work, commute time and actual time at the office. You may feel defeated before you can even get started. Well I believe that everyone has free time, even if it’s just 5 minutes, and something that every 9-5er has in common is a lunch break. Whether it’s 15, 30 or 60 minutes, you can use it to your advantage. Today I’m going to discuss how you can hack your lunch break if you struggle with finding the time to work on blog/biz tasks.
1 / PLAN: Plan out what you will do for the week in advance.
The first thing to do is plan out the days that you will complete certain tasks during a break. You may not want to use every lunch break of the week for blog/biz tasks, but either way, you still need to plan it out. Will you watch a webinar one day then work on a blog post the other? Will you schedule all of your tweets for the week one day and write copy for a sales page another day? Break up the types of tasks that you can do so that you don’t get tired of doing the same things on every break.
2 / SIMPLIFY: Simplify your meal.
Bring lunch from home on the days that you plan to work on your tasks so that you don’t have to leave the office and use up your time. You could also order lunch and pay online to minimize having to wait in line or consider office delivery (one of my personal faves). This will enable you to make full use of your lunch break by minimizing waiting time. If you decide to grab lunch somewhere, order in advance and work and eat inside of the restaurant.
3 / REFUEL: Eat first.
You need to give your body that brain power that was taken away during the morning work hours. This could be the first 10 minutes of a 30 minute lunch or the first 15 minutes of 60 minute lunch. It all depends on what you have scheduled to do with your time. You should give yourself a few minutes to just enjoy eating though, so make sure that you are taking a true break from everything before you start working on anything.
4 / GO: Put the pedal to the metal.
Use the rest of you lunch break to work on the tasks set for the day. For a 30 min lunch, you can still eat while working on tasks for the remaining 20 minutes and for an hour lunch, dedicate the second half or so to your tasks.
Now that you know what to do, let me break down three break times and what to do for each:
15 minute break- this is the standard morning and afternoon break that you get if you work a 9-5 (your company may be different, but this is just a standard...adjust your time accordingly if necessary). This is a quick break, so you can do small tasks like retweet some tweets that contained valuable info, answer a question in a Facebook group that you are a part of or jot down an idea for a blog post that you had (just a small outline of the post to expand on later).
30 minute lunch- ideally you already have your lunch with you, so you find a secluded spot (in your car, in an empty office, in an outdoor office dining area, etc.) and start eating. 10 minutes later you may or may not have completed your food already, but if you didn’t it’s all good, keep eating and start working. For the next 20 minutes you could do one 10 minute task and two five minute tasks, two 10 minute task, etc. Whatever works for you!
The process is slightly different if you decide to eat off site only in that you would ideally order your food and pay for it before clocking out so that you’re not wasting time in line. Also consider your travel time since that obviously will take away from your break. Everything else is the same.
60 minute lunch- I still suggest bringing your lunch with you (hey, saved money is always good in my book), but if not, you definitely have more time to work with. Dedicate the first 20-30 minutes to eating and relaxing then dedicate the remaining time to working. You could also combine these if you decide to watch an hour long webinar or listen to a podcast and eat at the same time. There is so much that can be done in an hour lunch break, but again, planning is key.
Now that I have opened your eyes to the possibilities of work break maximization, I hope that you try it out! Breaks are your time to do personal things, and when you’re in the process of building your blog/biz, using your time wisely is crucial.