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I read a lot of articles about “successful” people, or tips and tricks for job hunts, or just general advice on how to advance in your career, and I’m a sucker for listicles. So when I saw a link for an article on 13 Things Successful People Do During Their Lunch Hour, I clicked. For whatever reason, this article today made me lose my mind a little.
Over my lunch break, I’m sure I do 13 things: refill my water bottle, eat, watch Netflix, refresh my email 18 times, consult my planner, blog a little… I balance productivity with trying to focus on and enjoy what I’m eating. Conservatively, though, I definitely do 12 other things in that hour “break” of lunch (including continuing to work.) So when I read this article (at my desk, over my lunch break) it left me with one glaring question:
Plan your day with lunch in mind: alright, I can do this! I spend the better part of my morning thinking about food anyway, so this is a Can Do for me. Check.
Get up and get out and network: well, alright. I imagine successful people go to networking lunches at least once a week. I don’t know of any here, so count me out on this one (plus I like sitting at my desk, watching Netflix to drop out, and eating the sad little frozen lunch I brought from home.)
These people get organized at lunch: I do this too, but wait, aren’t they supposed to be out and about and socializing? How are they sticking their noses in their planners and organizing while they’re supposed to be attentive and networking?
Take the time to eat: if by “enjoy every second of the seven minutes it takes me to eat my Trader Joe’s frozen garden vegetable lasagna, including the time it takes to cool down after I overcook it in the microwave,” yes, I take the time! I’m seriously bad at slowing down any time I eat (which is ironic since I feel like a slow eater.) Oops.
But also go work out: okay so while we are enjoying our food at the networking lunch and managing our schedules for the next week, we are also supposed to be on a treadmill. GOT IT. Only six bulletpoints in, and this is already taking my entire day, not including the shower I’d need to head back to the office post-work-out.
The article goes on from there, giving you seven more tasks to help you realize what a failure you are because you’re only one person with one body. I realize that the article is meant to be helpful and not taken completely literally, but the way it (and many other articles about career advancement or personal success) is written really grinds my gears. I just wonder if these authors are serious or if they know what a joke this kind of “advice” is! (PS – I’m not typically an internet comment dweller but there are some real gems on that article if you need an even bigger laugh – although, I am pretty humorous.)