I’ve been pretty bad with replying to people in the past.
Especially when correspondence builds up before I go on a trip (a time when I’m usually very busy) and I have a bunch of people to get back to after I return (when I’m usually still busy). Actually, I’ve still got a list of people to get back to from before my last trip…
A week or so ago I decided that: not having someone get back to you promptly is pretty irritating; I hate it when people do that to me; and accordingly I really shouldn’t do it to other people.
So I decided that I would respond to people immediately.
Phone calls, text messages, emails, invitations – whatever it was, I would respond (not “try to respond”) straight away. It’s been working out very well. I feel more productive, like things are moving faster, and I assume that people appreciate it. Daily life feels that little bit more purposeful too.
I’ve found that the responses don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be prompt. Anything important will be followed up again anyway and you’ll have shared a bit more information. If you need to sleep on something, just send a quick message saying that you will follow-up later (and maybe asking some questions).
I guess it’s all just another way of saying that you shouldn’t put off for later, something that you can easily just do right now. It’s not a new or ground-breaking idea, but it is worth doing. 😉