The average work day is 8-to-5 where normally people (usually on salary) will take an hour for lunch. I never take an hour for lunch. In fact, I rarely even take a lunch at all. Personally, I can finish eating in about 10-15 minutes (normally because 98% of the time I bring my lunch). If I take an actual lunch then I am sitting around doing nothing for 15-45 minutes. I find that not only excruciatingly boring but extremely unproductive (unless I have good company).
In fact, on days where I am in complete problem-solving-mode, my brain doesn’t stop coding or analyzing even when I am sitting away from the computer. It doesn’t make sense to me to deprive my brain of coding opportunities when I can be so much more productive if I remain at my desk.
I do find the occasional half-hour to hour lunch to be refreshing especially on those rough days where nothing seems to work and the world is clearly “just out to get you”. Honestly though, if I’m really on a roll, I would rather just eat my lunch while I keep coding, stopping only to take a bite or maybe nuke my food.
Honestly I think this works out great to my benefit as a consultant. Since clients pay for me by the hour then not taking a lunch, or a shortened lunch, results in a shorter day for me. Otherwise it can result in working more than 8 hours a day. I’m sure that can get expensive.
What about you? Do you always take your full allotted lunch time, or do you just work through it and try to leave a little early?