For those of us who work in office jobs, many have become co-conspirators with our employers, believing the only way to get all our work done is to stay at our desks.

But the key to productivity isn't the number of hours we work—it's what we accomplish during the hours we're working. When we work continuously, we progressively run ourselves down, and we get less productive as the day wears on. We also feel worse, and the quality of our work suffers.

If you're taking care of children, not stopping to renew—and to have lunch—affects the quality of those relationships. Here are some of the benefits you derive when you get up from your desk, or the couch in your living room, walk outside and Take Back Your Lunch.

First, you move physically. That's good for you. The more times you move during a day, the healthier you become. And the better you feel.

Second, heading outside exposes you to natural sunlight, which is better for you than fluorescent lights and computer screens. It's also a chance to connect with nature, if you're anywhere near a park.

Third, simply changing channels in the middle of the day is an intentional way to relax, let go of whatever stresses you've been feeling, refuel and recharge.

Fourth, getting out for lunch is an opportunity to spend time with a friend or a colleague, which can be both pleasurable and renewing.

Finally, when you do take lunch, the likelihood is that you'll return to work more energized, more focused and ultimately more productive.

So this Wednesday—and every Wednesday throughout the summer—grab a friend, a colleague, or even your boss and Take Back Your Lunch. It's the first step in taking back your life!

Are you ready to join Tony and Take Back Your Lunch? Share your comments below.

Tony Schwartz is the author of The Way We're Working Isn't Working and president and CEO of The Energy Project. Learn more at

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