If you work at an office and eat lunch in the middle of the day, what is the relationship between working and eating for you? Do you take a break to eat? Do you eat alone or with others? Do you eat while you work?
The way I think of it is to ask
Are you there to work and eating is a distraction?
Is eating one of life’s great pleasures and work is a distraction?
You don’t have to choose between only a few options. I see the fundamental question for people who work for others as
Which is more fundamental to you — eating or working for your employer?
I hope you love your work and it consists of great relationships and projects you love to take on. When I worked nine-to-five in an office I viewed eating as a distraction. Sure, I ate with my coworkers, but I still felt like I was at the office to work, not like I was on this planet to enjoy life.
Now I see eating as one of the more fundamental parts of life — for that matter one of the most enjoyable, pleasurable, and reward. To the extent I work for reasons I don’t love or enjoy, I work to support activities like eating.
Everyone has to do what’s right for themselves, but if you value working over eating — or relationships with friends and family — you’ll let work encroach on the space of those things.
For me, it’s a matter of keeping my priorities straight.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book