Lunch Is Important

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McDanielCA
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Lunch Is Important

Postby McDanielCA » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:18 pm

Lunch Is Important
[size=84]By Tadd Giles

[/SIZE] To be successful in the tech industry, we need to be highly productive, we need to stay current with new technology, and we need to work really well with others. We also need to enjoy our jobs. We can improve our results in all of these ares if we will place a higher priority on having good lunches. Lunch is important!


[B][B][/B][/B]
Bad Lunch
We have all experienced them, but let's touch on what a bad lunch is for a moment. There are two common offenders: eating lunch alone at your desk, and the standing lunch meeting. Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes you just have to eat your lunch at your desk, and sometimes your boss just won't accept no for an answer when she calls a lunch meeting. However, these are far too common in our workplace. We are so accustomed to bad lunches that we hardly realize the damage they do.

Why is this bad?
[I] [/I] Without reasonable rest and refueling, we can't perform as well. When we don't take breaks, we lose focus and energy and our performance suffers. Just as athletes tire the longer they spend in a game, the longer we stay "on task," the more fatigued we feel. Higher performers take regular breaks from their work because they know the benefits of recharging.

Also, when we eat at our desks, we're usually alone. This leads to curmudgeonly isolation from our coworkers. While some of us might prefer that, today's workplace demands that we work well with others. We can't do that if we isolate ourselves.

Finally, eating lunch alone is not fun. When is the last time you had a good laugh sitting by yourself eating lunch in your office? Maybe you saw something funny on the Internet, but it's just not that common.

When you consider all the ramifications, lunch meetings are inefficient. This seems counter-intuitive. After all, we're eating AND we're meeting. We're doing two things at once. That's very efficient, right? Actually, no. Effective meetings are focused on making decisions or sharing information, and lunch gets in the way of these activities. Remember Health 101: when you eat, your body sends more resources to your stomach and fewer to your brain. When we're eating, we are not able to focus our full brainpower on the decisions being made or the information being shared. It's physically impossible.

Also, think about the last lunch meeting you had. "did you get the ham on wheat, or the chicken?" "Who got my chicken without mayonnaise?" Rustle, rustle, crackle, crackle. "Oops, sorry! I didn't mean to spill that." That's not effective meeting time; that's a picnic.

Some might argue that there's a social benefit to the lunch meeting. Not only are we taking care of some business, but we're also socializing a bit; you know, we're "team-building." However, just like lunch hampers the meeting, the meeting gets in the way of the socialization. While we're eating lunch and talking, we are inevitably thinking about the meeting. And often some "efficient meeting" individual is already up at the whiteboard, writing up an agenda. Socialization is short-changed in the lunch meeting as well.

Just say no to standing lunch meetings.
The "Decline" button is your friend. Also, think twice before you call a lunch meeting yourself.

Now I will admit that a lunch meeting can be fun, just like a good meeting can be fun. But a lunch meeting isn't likely to be as fun as having a good lunch.

Good Lunch
Here's a good lunch: you get away from your workspace with others that you work with, and you enjoy lunch and enjoy your company. While you're at it, you learn something new about something interesting, and you get to know someone better.

Why is this good?

We need breaks. We need to get our minds off work and talk about some non-work topics. If we make lunch a time to renew our physical and mental strength, we will be more productive during our work times.

We must work well with others. Our success will be limited if we don't. Collaborating with coworkers is not optional in today's workplaces. To work well with others, we must build good relationships with them. Many times we start working with someone and we expect them to instantly trust us, agree with us, and like us when they know nothing about us. Lunch is one of the easiest ways to help others get to know us and for us to find hidden talents and personality traits in others.

We can improve poor relationships. Let's face it; we all work with someone who we don't see eye-to-eye with. Oftentimes this is because we don't know each other. Lunch can help. If you're not getting along with someone, go to lunch with him or her, and see what happens. You may build a stronger bond of trust, and you may make friend.

Lunch is fun. You will enjoy your work more and enjoy life more if you take time to enjoy lunch. You will be a happier person. Oh, and by the way, happy people are more productive. They perform higher quality work and they get more work done.

Bottom Line
A bad lunch can isolate you, hurt your productivity, and do nothing for your happiness. A good lunch can help you be more effective with others, more productive in your work, and just plain happier. That is why lunch is important.

So give some thought to how you spend lunch. Is it important to you? It may be more important than you think.

jhvdh84
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Postby jhvdh84 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:57 pm

So is this a problem at ICS? Or is this just an overall thought provoking essay?

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:27 am

jhvdh wrote:So is this a problem at ICS? Or is this just an overall thought provoking essay?

I believe that Tadd is speaking generally but I'm sure we have these issues at the Church as well.

Tom

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Postby james_francisco » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:50 am

This isn't an uncommon problem among IT workers. I've been guilty of it more often than not over the years. Some people are worse. I remember a developer down the hall from my office in the Windows Mobile group at Microsoft who seemed to have a 90 day supply of food storage in his office.

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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:41 am

In reading this I am guilty of bad lunch and breakfast too
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:41 pm

In Italy is not uncommon to have one our and half break for lunch! Because most employer works close to home they spend their lunch time eating with their family!
Because I don't like traffic stress, I eat (out of office) with few colleagues speaking about soccer, politic, Church, ecc. ecc. for one our and half.
Italy is a very strange country, isn't?
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

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McDanielCA
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Postby McDanielCA » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:43 pm

Wow, I need to move to Italy. Do you work 8 hour days in addition to the lunch, or is that part of it?

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daddy-o-p40
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:50 pm

Don't the majority of europeans take the month of august off too. I vote for long lunches and siestas.
"What have I done for someone today?" Thomas Monson

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:56 pm

In my factory we work from 8:00 to 12:00 and 13:30 till 17:30, 5 days a week.
We have 28 days of payed holiday every year and if we fell sick we are payed 80% but no taxes!
Of course we have not reached the moon, but surely enjoyed life.
But not all factorys are equal. And not always the same. For example now I'm working from 14:00 to 22.00 with half our of rest time (eating, watching tv and speaking of soccer). I'll we do 2 weeks of holiday in August and 2 or 3 on December (Christmas and new year).
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).


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