Feeling like you can’t stop checking your email — even during breakfast, lunch and dinner? If you’re noticing an abundance of crumbs littering your computer keyboard and sticky fingerprints on your iPhone screen from multitasking meals and job responsibilities, you might want to take note of this new research from the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Detaching from work during a lunch break — even for 30 minutes — can boost energy and help you better respond to work demands, the study reveals.
The research found that the time subjects spent on work exceeded the time they spent on sleep and leisure activities combined. And although eating was the most highly ranked at-work activity, even lunch breaks were consumed by work.
Researchers also found survey participants had trouble psychologically detaching from work and they engaged in more passive forms of recovery during non-work time, such as watching television. While this isn’t harmful, it also doesn’t help boost energy levels beyond baseline like active recovery activities, such as going to the gym, can.
“Burnout is a serious issue,” says Nicole Cranley, lead researcher on the study. “It’s usually related to the fact that you’re not taking enough time for self-care or engaging in activities that help you gain back some of those resources.”
To replenish resources, small business owners should take part in active recovery activities outside of work – no matter how little time is available, the study recommends. As Cranley says, “Everybody is valuable, everybody needs to take care of themselves sometimes. We can’t all be 100 percent all the time.”