Posted by Sophie Knox on 01 August 2014
In our fast-paced lives, taking a lunch break can sometimes seem like the wrong decision. But studies show that stepping out of the office can prove much more beneficial than persisting to complete the daily tasks. It increases productivity and creativity, alleviates stress and anxiety, and replenishes energy supplies for the afternoon. And though sitting on a park bench is a tempting option, using your lunch hour to get on top of your “life admin” is hugely satisfying and frees up time to relax later.
Before you head out, don’t forget to eat! Then get started ticking off these five items on your to-do list.
1. Post office
You can take care of most personal administrative tasks, such as paying bills, online, but some jobs remain tied to the old-school post office. Apart from sending packages interstate or overseas, the post office is the home of passport applications, money orders and transfers, parcel collections, office supplies, travel and car insurance, and foreign currency. Most post offices are closed on weekends, so this is definitely a job to take care of during the week.
2. Medical appointments
When was the last time you went to the dentist? It’s one of those check-ups we should have more regularly, but it often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Book an appointment for your lunch break. If you don’t have a dentist nearby, head to the Australian Dental Association and type in your suburb – you’ll get a list of approved practices in the area. Most check-ups take less than 30 minutes. Your lunch hour is also an opportune time to have a once-over at the GP, get your skin checked or sort out a health problem you’ve been harbouring for too long.
3. Tax returns
Doing your tax is a yearly event for most of us, yet we always put it off until the very last minute. This year, organise your paperwork and receipts, and book an appointment with a local tax agent during your lunch break. Let them know you have limited time. If you need more time, book an appointment for another lunch hour. While you’re at it, think about doing your last will and testament, and enquiring about bank loans and life insurance.
4. Make phone calls
Making private phone calls is part and parcel of everyone’s day – during work, on the way to the office or heading home. But whether it’s interstate grandparents, a long-lost friend or a family-assistance government enquiry, sometimes the longer conversations never end up happening because you’re always distracted or too tired to invest the time. Block out your lunch break, head to a quiet spot and make the calls you’ve been meaning to make for ages.
5. Personal grooming and clothing
For most of us, keeping up appearances happens on the weekend. Keep that time for fun and reserve time in your lunch schedule for haircuts, waxing, brow trimming, nail sprucing and all of your other personal-grooming requirements. When was the last time you replaced your old underwear? Head to the local department store and treat yourself to new undies, pyjamas, stockings, singlets – all the pieces in your wardrobe that get relegated to the back of the drawer but are in desperate need of an update.
Manage the time in your day so you can leave the office and make it home for dinner every night.