flickr-7120435163_084ee2809c_zAfter her work-life balance session at NTC, Kivi has been talking a lot recently about Cutting the Workaholic Martyr Crap and how you need to stop wearing unused vacation days as a badge of honor.

As Kivi says, “Your brain needs a break in order to think strategically and to solve problems creatively.  If you think about it, time off is actually time on — it’s time for your brain to recover from your to-do list chaos and to start subconsciously making connections and discoveries that your task-oriented worker-bee self will never find.”

She encourages you to lead the culture change within your organization and schedule some vacation days now.

If that seems like too big of a step for you (which it really, really shouldn’t!), then let’s start small…

How about just leaving the office during your lunch break?

Last year about this time I noticed a trend among those who participated in our Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator series – they ate lunch at their desks. A lot.

This is in line with other studies that put desk diners at 60-70% (although our sample was more like 80-90%).

You can find many reports on how taking a lunch break is better for both your productivity and your health.

So to help you take those baby steps toward a full vacation, I am encouraging you to start a Nonprofit Communicators Out to Lunch Day. (It’s in the same vein as your Nonprofit Communications Free Day #NPCommFreeDay that Kivi encourages you to schedule.)

Try to get away from your desk and go out to lunch a few times a month. Invite a co-worker, friend, or new colleague. Or just take some time to yourself. You can simply go to your break room, or a nearby park or a local eatery. But get away from your desk!

And let us know you did it! Tell us about your lunch away from your desk with the hashtag, #npcommlunch on Twitter or Instagram.

Then maybe once you and your co-workers see that the organization didn’t fall apart without you, you can work up to taking a whole day off!