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In defense of lunchtime

When is your lunchtime?

For me, on particularly hectic days, it comes sometime between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. When I am a little luckier, it is actually around noon or 1 p.m.

In speaking with a colleague, we decided the opportunity to eat lunch away from our desk was important enough that we should make efforts to do so several days a week. This commitment has, unfortunately, gone the way of a New Year’s resolution. What about eating out for lunch? Sure, once that big case is closed or I get close to the end of my to-do list this week.

There are plenty of reasons for an attorney not to eat a proper lunch — I know I don’t have a problem making a list. But how about some reasons in defense of taking a lunch? (Disclaimer: I do not pretend to take my own advice.)

1) Whatever you are working on can (usually) wait — Of course, there are exceptions, but there are exceptions to every rule. When the clock strikes noon, drop what you are doing and ask yourself: Is this something I come back to in an hour? The answer should usually be yes.

2) Being outdoors Spring has sprung. You need to be outside. Go outside for lunch. Eat a nice, light salad, some fresh fruit. It’s depressing to have to admit you don’t know if it rained today or not.

3) Food is meant to be enjoyed I like to cook and I usually like the taste of my own food. Watching me eat lunch at my desk, you might think that lunch is meant to be inhaled or opened and put to the side while you try to finish up that project you were working on earlier. If you brought some of those delicious leftovers for lunch, be sure to enjoy it the second time around as much as you did the first.

4) You skipped breakfast Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, this blog post notwithstanding. Now, you’ve skipped breakfast because you needed to get to the office to get some work done because of the lunch you took yesterday. Time for lunch.

5) You can stay a little late tonight — You can’t have it all. You can either eat lunch or stay late. Staying late has some benefit; you’ll probably get more done after-hours because everyone has cleared out of the office and the quiet will give you a little more focus.

OK, my list is a little facetious. Taking lunch can have some consequences in terms of your workflow and schedule. But it all comes to down to a matter of priorities, and lunch shouldn’t always be at the bottom.