A work related resolution for the New Year

December 31, 2012 in Best of Both, leadership, management, work, Work-Life Balance by MyBestofBothWorlds

As the New Year approaches, we’ll see plenty of articles and blog posts about resolutions to be made for the coming year.  If history is any indicator most won’t be kept much past January.  I’m just as guilty as the next person about making and breaking resolutions.  However about two years ago I did make a work related resolution for the New Year and for the most part have kept to it.

What was my grand work related resolution you might wonder?  It was to actually take a lunch break.  I know that might seem like no big deal, but as a director of a busy imaging department it’s not as easy as you may think.  With all the day-to-day operational issues, meetings, and projects it seemed like I ran all day without ever taking a break.   I am one of those VERY fortunate people who happen to love what I do and for the most part the majority of the people I work with, but even the energizer bunny needs a break now and then.

It was then that I realized that not only did I need to take a breather, but I deserved a break.  I decided that I would make a work related resolution for the New Year.  I would take at least twenty minutes to a half hour to eat lunch WITHOUT answering the phone or responding to email.  This was VERY difficult to do at first.  I literally would go get my lunch bring it back to my desk and turn to the computer to check email as soon as I heard the notification.  So I turned the sound off.

Eventually, after much practice, taking a lunch break has become a habit.  I’ve even brought a book to work to read during this time.  Not only did I enjoy my lunch instead of gulping it down, I actually enjoyed reading a chapter or two.  Not only is this break a physical one, but a mental one as well.  The reading definitely helped in clearing my mind, so that after I finish my lunch, I feel more focused, ready to take on whatever issue arises.  There are some days that due to circumstances having to do with patient care or when emergencies arise, that lunch may not happen and I do miss the break.

So if you are skipping lunch or your breaks, try out a work related resolution for the New Year and see if it makes a positive difference in your work-life balance.