Home > Communication, Work > eat first, then reply

eat first, then reply

A work friend IM’d me with a question.

Frantically at work on something else, I asked that she please email me such questions in the future.

The moment I sent the message, I saw some of my many errors. First and foremost, the fact I felt like she was entering my cube and hollering at me for an immediate answer said more about my current state than hers.

This triggered some reflection: Why had I taken an IM as if it were a physical assault? Wait, come to think of it, when was the last time I ate? 

I immediately got up and ate lunch, a couple of hours late. Calm returned within moments.

My takeaway from this is: Next time I get the feeling ALL THE THINGS are wrong because someone sent me a question (how dare they?), I should check my hangry levels before replying. 

Better to eat first, then reply, than vice versa.

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Categories: Communication, Work Tags: , ,
  1. October 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been doing that for years. Deep breath. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Fix that then respond. Good for you!

  2. October 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Eat first, then reply! I can’t believe you even forgot to eat lunch! I always make sure I eat lunch, but then again I just love my food. Great advice, Deborah. Every so often I get a notification on my watch which says ‘breath’. So I sit back, take a few moments to breathe, in and out, clear my head, then carry on. It’s a good reminder in a busy day.

    • October 19, 2017 at 5:07 am

      I’ve been really, really diligent about eating every 2.5-3 hours, which I’ve had to due to how I’m eating right now. I haven’t had a chance to get hangry in ages, so that I forgot it was even possible. Yesterday was my wake-up! Your “breath” notification made me think: Gonna set three-hour alarms for the next week at least, because that sucked for everyone!

  3. October 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    It is interesting how texts and IMs feel like such demands Because immediate replies are expected and the pop ups are so intrusive. I would rather do away with them completely!

    • October 19, 2017 at 5:12 am

      They really are intrusive! I don’t mind IMs for “hey, how ya doing?” but anything beyond that is forcing what is actually happening here, now into the background–forcibly fragmenting reality, if that makes any sense. While I can close my inbox to focus, folks are expected to be on IM at all time. That accessibility comes at a cost to productivity, thanks to all the time required to rapidly shift between what you know you need to do and what someone else thinks you ought. I want to nix them completely, too, but am usually a little more polite in saying so within the workday. :p

  4. October 19, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Good advice. Except maybe she WAS yelling at you to get her junk done first. 🙂

    • November 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

      I think there was a bit of that there, though it usually wouldn’t faze me to the point of replying as I did. 🙂

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