On a cold and miserably rainy day in January 2016, I made an uncharacteristic move. I decided to take my lunch break.
Like the majority of people with a desk job, most of my lunch breaks were spent hunched over my computer with a sandwich, followed by evenings full of complaining that I “had to” sit in front of a computer all day. Apparently this extends to a whole two thirds of British workers, who don’t even manage to take their legal minimum of a 20 minute lunch break each day, let alone the full hour most of us are allotted.
So, having finally exhausted the content of every horoscope site on the Internet (standard desk-based, lunch time reading), I set myself the task of spending my lunch breaks out of the office and away from a computer.
One year on and I am halfway through my list of 52 things to do in a lunch break! The effects of actually doing something productive, creative and inquiring with my time have been astounding – you can read about the contrast between taking a lunch break and not taking a lunch break here.
I started this blog as a way of sharing my experience, discovering and documenting the best way to spend a lunch break, and charting how realistic it is to expect a full lunch break every day (judging by my progress, not very!). But most of all I wanted this site to a source of inspiration for those days when you feel a little listless and in need of some invigoration, or just a bit of ‘me’ time.
Each week has a different theme or challenge, which fall into four categories, to suit your mood: Sitting, Active, Inside and Outside. Everything is free (or very cheap) and very few take a full hour – the average time for most activities is 25 minutes.
As I’m only half way through the list myself, not everything is included in this blog, though it continues to grow weekly.
For the FULL list of things to do, you can pre-order the book GONE FOR LUNCH: 52 THINGS TO DO IN YOUR LUNCH BREAK (publication date 9 March 2017).
It’s the most beautiful book (all thanks to Quadrille‘s production team, not me!) which functions as a more personal guide and allows you to tailor it to your own interests and local opportunities, as well as chart your own progress. It’s been a complete and utter joy to put together; and hopefully the challenges will bring as much magic and wonder to your working days as they have to mine!
Laura Archer x
Follow me on Twitter @gone_forlunch and Instagram @gone.for.lunch
Agent: Louise Lamont, LBA Books