The Advanced Habits Of The Prosperous Office Worker
Put that sandwich down. They’ll be no gluten on my watch. No room for poor choices in our Lunch Routine.
It is now lunch, and time for the second instalment of our Fit Office Worker Routine series.
To those scallywags who are yet to read the ultimate morning routine, which will help you to kick start your day in and outside of the office, you can access it here: The Complete Morning Routine of Successful People
At this point, all work produced by the Fit Office Worker has been completed to a high standard, of course it has, this is a direct consequence of an energetic brain that was awoken during our early-hour mantra.
The positive mind-set ensured that all communication with colleagues was bright, positive and cheerful. The boss is content to see that his team are actually talking to one another, and the office atmosphere no longer stinks of despair and misery.
Most importantly, the Fit Office Worker is happy; their day is flying under their control as they work in a ‘flow’ like state. Everything is so much easier when the brain is working for you.
Looking down into the bottom right-hand corner of the computer screen, the number reads 1200 hours. Sticking closely to true societal norms, as if the belly actually understands a clock, it is now almost instantaneously hungry.
Feeling high on freedom, the Fit Officer worker has officially made it half way through the day. They’ve completed their main objectives and by the time they return there will not as many hours left. Countdown on.
Lunch time is a fantastic milestone to reach – as any office worker knows. For the lucky mortals, a whole entire hour is available, to be spent however exactly as they desire. It is as if the invisible chains are set loose from their swollen ankles.
To some office workers, they will experience a feeling like that of a naughty school child, and a sense of guilt sweeps over. Can they really leave their desk and their duties for an entire hour, not check their email and go astray and off the clock? Yes. Yes they should.
No matter how it’s done, it must be done. Whether they have to trick their minds and tell themself that it’s their entitlement, that they’ve worked hard for it or that it’s written in their contract.
But as a bunch of national workplace experts so accurately stated: “You should be as strategic about your lunch hour as you are about your day in general. It’s critical to make the most of lunch and remind yourself that by taking a proper break you will accomplish more in the long run, and that productivity and creativity will increase, while your levels of stress and fatigue will diminish,” – Lynn Taylor, (I don’t know who you are but you are ever so right).
So let’s get stuck right into the juicy details of how to optimise this next segment of the day. It is an hour not only where time is spent, but how this time is NOT spent that can dictate the successes achieved in the latter half. There are several options on the table (or should I say desk) to the cubicle critter:
Perhaps the stand out option to the office worker can be found in our first orange square – Exercise. Whilst scheduling in a weight session before work is great and sets up a day nicely, a pre-work session can be too much:
The thought of pounding a 150KG deadlift or squatting deep for reps can be too overwhelming and strength levels are not optimised
Z’s are sacrificed
Our other MITS (Most Important Tasks) cannot be completed before work.
No time or desire for essential pre-workout nutrition or it has no time to digest.
A lunch-time workout gives us a second opportunity and can overcome these difficulties. Full body workouts will give us the best bang for our buck, body-part splits are not ideal when the boss gets on the blower demanding your return:
Workouts can be cut short if the boss gets on the blower demanding a return to the office
The increased frequency will mean that the entire body will remain in an anabolic muscle-building phase throughout the week.
Damaged limitations if workouts have to be cancelled later in the week
But there are no doubts about it; a full-body workout requires intensity and focus. So much so, volume should be set at an appropriate level, and the limitations of an hour at lunch will ensure this threshold is not abused.
So the programme the office worker selects should to hit the three basic requirements:
- Works as many muscles as possible to create a potent anabolic signal
(Helps to increase Growth Hormone and Testosterone levels which build muscle and burn fat).
- Can be completed in ~45 minutes.
- Allows for adequate recovery and rest.
There are many variations of the full body, but I can only advise to look no further than Jay Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets.
And whilst we often think that exercise has to be a balls-to-the wall hard intensive session, an office worker will need to schedule in some downtime. Some light and restorative walking, or participating in a class like Yoga. These are ideal and incredibly effective on days ‘off’ and in between days of weight training, or if you are a young lady and have not yet explored the weight section of the gym.
Ever heard of ‘Active Rest’? – Where blood and nutrients are transported and you don’t end up like this guy (feel free to print off and colour in on rest days too if you like):
But that’s the thing with a full body routine – you’re going to need the downtime and you’re going to need to remain mobile. Nobody wants a stiffy in the office.
A great simple and effective working-week schedule could therefore look like the below:
|Monday||Full-Body Weight Session 1|
|Wednesday||Full-Body Weight Session 2|
|Friday||Full-Body Weight Session 3|
So will it be option 1 and a choice to exercise. A choice where you will receive a sense of accomplishment that will spur you on in the latter half of the day.
How hungry are you, what are your goals, have you worked out? These will be the questions the office worker must ask before shunning the workout or embarking on the lunch-time meal.
Meal prep is always advised; no additives, hidden ingredients and no over-priced nonsense. Just real honest food – cooked at home and brought to the office. This sounds like an Organic TV advert but it honestly isn’t.
Use it to form the basis of a shopping list and choose what you enjoy most. Also consider food that doesn’t smell too bad so that it can be eaten at the desk if and only exercise was undertaken.
Macronutrients (Grams of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats) should be tailored for the office workers goals, energy levels, body composition etc.
Organic is preferable
How to structure you meals,
Step 1: Choose Your Animal Protein
- Beef (Bony Cuts – Oxtail, Mince/ Diced/Steak),
- Lamb (Shanks/Neck/Chops/ Diced/ Mince),
- White Fish (Cod/Haddock)
- Shellfish (Prawns/Shrimp/Scallops),
- Cheese (No Dairylee – that is rubber not cheese)
- Protein Shake
Step 2: Choose Your Fruity Carbohydrate (if desired/required):
- And so on and so forth
Step 3: Choose Your Vegetable:
- Lettuce, Iceberg/Romain
- Green Beans
- You get’teh idea
Step 4: Choose Your Starch (more if exercise has been completed)
- White Rice,
- Potatoes – Sweet/White/Russet etc.
- White Rice
- Cant think of anymore. Google “starch”.
Step 5: Choose Fat (if required and not present in the protein source)
- Coconut oil
Now it’s time to throw some of the list from each category together:
Roasted Beef Stew with succulent Pear,
Seared Liver on Molten Blueberries.
Tree-ripened Bananas mushed into steamed Carrots
Whilst the above are all delicious and delightful concoctions, I have done the hard work and created three quick and easy to prepare lunch time recipes as an example of the step-by-step guide:
- Green beans, prawns, coconut oil
- Roast beef slices, parsnips, butter.
- And how can we forget! The one, the only… Chicken and White Rice (that’s for all those BodyBuilders out there)
The lunch time break is also an excellent opportunity to go and have a chinwag, meet new people and network.
We spend far too much time sitting amongst the team and ‘our’ people. No division here they say, this is a global company and the culture calls for open communication go’dammit. Firstly have the gremlins that say this kind of thing actually seen the reality, and secondly how do you even spell Goddammit?
Besides, one shouldn’t be leaving it until lunch to communicate and catch up with others on the team, this should be done throughout the morning but I digress.
So the morning is for the team, for the desk – where the head is stuck in a computer screen and the bum is firmly attached to the chair. Not that I recommend this behaviour but that’s often the reality and often what is required.
Being locked in at the desk, the computer is the gateway into a fantasy corporate world of task, duty and repression. The dictator operates behind another screen, and in your inbox, and commands his law-abiding people via emails and tasks. He is in firm control and prevents the office worker from going too far astray.
But lunch-time is the opportunity for a rebellion, where the office worker breaks free from the shackles of the man, or lady, both equal…. Equal opportunities…
The human is a social animal and they need to act like one.
So up rise and leave – go for a bit of a jolly (minus the alcohol, not advised).
Go socialise with others outside of the team. Listen and glean from other departments and desks – learn of new opportunities, promotion-related or otherwise, and gather news from around the office and the latest politics.
The Dirty Challenge: Find out who is sleeping with who.
& for very good reason, find out who your boss is sleeping with and you will forever hold the key to getting them on side.
Now, a simple way to socialise; go to the staff canteen, ideally when most busy but not so much so you cannot get a seat, and sit near a group. Listen in, and seek an opportunity to contribute. Don’t overthink this; something subtle will suffice.
At last resort, sit with the Steven Glansberg (epic Superbad reference). Yeah he eats lunch alone:
If all else, hit him up on Twitter: https://twitter.com/stevenglans?lang=en. (I am sure he would appreciate the tweet.)
Essentially, the loner always wants some company, that’s why they sit in the canteen. So be the good Samaritan and help this poor fellow, be that person and approach.
Now for eats: Take along your finely crafted Lunch. You could even help use this as the icebreaker that I previously alluded to. Just make sure you leave the Cod and Broccoli at home on that day. You guys know what I’m talking about – when that lid gets taken off (OMG)
If you do opt for a canteen lunch be careful and all else be sensible; be aware of the hidden naughties that ruin any kind of nutrition that was previously present in the food.
The canteen loves to add fat, it’s like they suffer from Jamie Oliver’s influence. But unlike Olive Oil, they choose to add mostly trans-fat and cheap oils that keep cooking costs low. The dangers of these to your health are shocking and worthy of another article.
Salads and the like, or food you can serve up yourself will therefore help to avoid these potentially fatal errors. But they might not be available or it’ll cost you, so once again the recommendation is to bring your Tupperware and eat it. The food, not the container.
So to summarise our third socialise option of the Infographic that I prepared earlier: get up, get out. Get out from behind your desk and go socialise. The more you can escape your comfort zone, the more friends you will make and the more you will learn both in a professional and personal setting. And if you can do this whilst easting, its all the better.
They’ve made the Infographic and deservedly so. But personal tasks are self explanatory and simple to understand so for the purpose of rambling, will keep this short.
I will keep this section as short and sweet as an overripe Gooseberry.
Disclaimer: This is as far as my gooseberry knowledge goes. If it is lacking please do leave a comment at the end and let me know.
Now beyond the ramble; personal tasks are not created equal and should not be viewed as such.
Read, Write, Journal–They fall under the Personal Development umbrella; helping to stimulate the office worker intellectually, de-stress and to let the mind wander elsewhere. These can be effective depending on the day of the week or the type of week the office worker is having.
Optimal locations: Winter = Library, Summer: Bench.
Research, Plan – suitable for those wanting to build a side-business or have any other financial aspirations.
Optimal locations: Library or other dwelling away from the desk that has an internet connection.
These are the types of examples when personal tasks can fill the lunch-time voids effectively and proactively.
It is easy to fall victim and remain seated at the desk during these, and whilst this may be required, make sure a walk is completed for 20-30 mins beforehand.
During the walk, visualise the steps of research or what needs to be done. Plan the plan. Then return, in half an hour, back from “lunch” early and concentrate on the tasks. Bosh them out.
Be affirmative and assertive; this is your lunch break and time, not the bosses or anybody else’s. You’re there at the desk for a reason.
Personal tasks are isolating by nature, so use them infrequently and ad-hocly. Or else, you may become like our good old friend Steven Glansberg.
Last and definitely least is to run those personal errands and chores. Not only are these tedious and downright boring, but they are more optimal for a time when energy levels are in the toilet and they do not require much brain juice to complete.
You have young children, I get it.
You have sick family members that need attention, I also get it.
But if you have to go to store because you would like to return a shirt that’s too small, No, I do not get it. This is a waste of your lunch hour. It should nay be included in your lunch routine.
It’s a wrap:
So as the clock strikes 1300 hours, we now conclude the second part of the series of how an Office Worker can optimise their time. Be mindful, there are many options open. Be mindful that time shan’t be wasted, and that you have an entitlement to spend this much deserved hour as ever you so wish.
And for goodness sake, please just sit with Steven Glansberg!