Ken Reid is a polished standup comedian and the host of the popular podcast TV Guidance Counselor. Every week Ken and a guest explore “television watching decisions of our past.” He has an in depth knowledge of pre-Millennium television shows and pop culture.
Ken came on my YouTube show Best Advice Ever. As the name suggests, guests talk about the best advice they ever got. His advice may strike you as odd, but it can the key of becoming more productive at work.
I hope you find some value to this excerpt from our discussion.
Ken: The best advice ever I got was about working. I was in college and worked at WBZ TV 4 here in the Boston area. I was in Audience Services which is basically operations.
The facilities manager had been there forever. He was this amazing guy. He was the kind of person that if he got jury duty he would be excited about it, and would hope you got to be the foreman.
He gave me two pieces of advice. Both were good, but one I think was better than the other. The first was never ever go into sales. The second one — and this is the one that I hold near and dear to my heart and has never done me wrong — is always take lunch.
He told me there’s nothing you’ll get done in that hour that you couldn’t get done afterward. By taking that break you’re going to be more efficient and you’re going to do a better job then if you just work through the lunch.
Andy: The data supports that. I read about a few studies that show if you take a break during lunch and just go outside or talk to people your productivity increases.
Ken: Yeah, you get more done than you would have if you worked for that extra hour. I worked places after that where they would give me crap about it. I remember the job immediately after that and my boss came up to me and said, “You know we noticed that it take lunch every day.”
And I was like yeah, no.
“Well, we work through our lunch,” she said.
“That sucks. Maybe you shouldn’t do that.”
They were not happy about me taking my break every day, but I have done it every job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a problem getting work done. At no point was I at work until 9 o’clock because I took lunch.
The people I know who worked through lunch are also the people that usually are in the office till like seven 8:00 o’clock. So, I think they’re just bad at time management.
Taking lunch also works as a little reward during the day. If I got all my morning stuff done I could take my break, and then I’d have a fresh start for the rest of the day.
Andy: Since you’re in entertainment do you ever find these lunches are like working lunches?
Ken: Like a lunch meeting? Sure, but that’s not often. When I’m in LA I do if I’m going to meet up with somebody to talk about something creative or some project. I don’t think it’s at the expense of my lunch or my lunch time.
I work a day job so I always take lunch by myself when I’m there.
Andy: Thanks for sharing that story!