If you’re trying to squeeze out every hour of productivity in your day, think twice about fusing your lunch hour with work. You could be sacrificing the restoration and renewal necessary for creative sustenance.

As Robert Pozen, author of Extreme Productivity, said in an interview with Fast Company:

If you start with the notion that having a quick sandwich at your lunch is productive in the sense that it takes less time, that’s true,” the author says. “But we don’t want a hard and fast rule—we want a functional rule.”

The desk-lunch efficiency might not be worth it, he says, if you could gain more from stepping away.

You could eat alone—perhaps away from a screen. Pozen says that since you’ll sometimes have a very full day, eating alone can help you restore your personal resources. And don’t pull out your phone: An absence of stimulation encourages associative or integrative thought, spurring your creativity. As well, if you have an idea that you’re working on in your head, eating alone allows you to continue uninterrupted.

Make sure that when you’re running out of fuel, you take the time to refill the gas tank.

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