Q: If you had one hour to accomplish a lot of things, say over your lunch break, how would you go about planning to ensure that you were successful?
A: To start with, I’d say don’t forget to eat! Your lunch break is a time for refuelling yourself and it’s an added bonus to get a few things ticked off your list as well.
Your first step should be to make a list of all the immediate tasks that are buzzing around in your head. Your brain is a not a very good keeper of “to dos”, so you’ll feel much calmer and on top of things if you get as much as you can out of your head.
Looking at the list, start categorising the items – do you have some purchases to make? Some things to drop off? Queries to make? What are the nature of the tasks – what can be grouped together?
Estimate how long a each will take and cushion in a little extra time so as to not overstretch yourself. You don’t need to do it all in one lunch break, you can use breaks throughout the week to target different task categories.
Secondly, map out which locations/venues your tasks will take you to – workflow your tasks. Do you need to go to Woolworths, Vodafone and the shoe repairer? Think about a sequence that flows so you’re not wasting time by backtracking. And consider what you will be carrying to or from your tasks. If you are dropping off shoes, head there first and leave Woolworths til last so you’re not lugging heavy things around early in the sequence.
Thirdly, put your plan in action! Keep calm and enjoy the things you are accomplishing. It’s more than likely that things will take longer than expected and that events outside your control will occur, such as a huge line up at the shoe repairers’ or a broken cash register at Woolworths resulting in delays. Take the opportunity while waiting in lines to practice mindfulness and have some time out while ticking things off rather than letting those feelings of irritation creep in.
So there you go! Plan, plan, plan ahead and you’ll not only feel refreshed at the end of your lunch break but also feel a sense of accomplishment.
If you have any lunch break hacks – let us know below!