The problems with the activities we are about to talk about is not so much that they are time-wasters (which they certainly are). The problem is that they are counterproductive. You will come back from your break feeling less energetic and more stressed — the complete opposite of what you are trying to achieve. So here are a few things to avoid when you are taking a strategic mini-break:
- Avoid eating fatty or sugary foods. This is the flip side of the tip we gave you earlier about snacking on fruits and vegetables. We all know the types of foods we are talking about: cakes, cookies, chips, and ice cream. These foods taste so good when you eat them, but they do to your body is anything but beneficial. They make you sluggish and slow. They probably will increase your cravings for high-fat foods later in the day. Stay away from these foods at all costs.
This principle applies to our lunch breaks as well. When we choose to fill our bodies with fast food that is high-fat and high-calorie, we are setting ourselves up for a less-productive, higher-stress afternoon. Our bodies have to work harder to digest all that garbage we have ingested. The extra effort our bodies use takes away from our normal energy levels. So for a productive afternoon, eat light at lunch.
- Avoid skipping lunch altogether. It’s very tempting to skip eating and just work through lunch. Don’t do it unless you are engaged in a period of fasting. When you don’t eat, it can have a similar effect to eating the wrong things–sluggishness, lack of energy and focus, and intense hunger.
As we said in the last point, the key is to eat strategically. Eat a light lunch, with an emphasis on lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. When you choose to eat this way, two things happen. First, your body doesn’t need to work as hard to digest the food, which frees up more energy for you to concentrate on your work. Second, these types of food provide the proper fuel your body craves. When you give your body what it wants and needs, it performs better.
- Avoid checking email and social media. We live in a world where we are connected to each other constantly, in ways that we never were before the Internet came into existence. But it is very easy to let email and social media become time-wasters. And they can not only steal your time, they can destroy your energy level also.
We have all been there: You sit down to check Facebook “just for a minute.” When you look up, two hours have passed, and you haven’t accomplished anything. Make your breaks a respite from the ever-resent draw of social media. This simple change can make a big difference in your life!For a productive afternoon, eat light at lunch. Click To Tweet
– Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman
The above excerpt is from p. 79-81 of The Renegade Pastor’s Guide to Managing the Stress of Ministry.
Pastors Nelson Searcy and Richard Jarman share their secrets to effective stress management with practical steps and insights that you can start implementing immediately! God wants you to be a fruitful, faithful minister of the gospel. He wants you, as a Renegade Pastor, to rise above average as you pursue God’s best for you, your family, and your ministry.
Your partner in ministry,
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