Responding

In which we answer back


I gave you my vaguest possible list of things to change this year, on Monday. I’ve thought of something to add, though, something slightly more practical. I’m going to try to respond to people quicker.

I’m not the only person who is bad at responding to emails and so on. I once had a boss who had a long list of emails in his inbox, ones he should definitely have answered. Every few months he would delete the ones that were more than a year old, on the grounds that by then the original query would be so out of date to make replying pointless. I don’t want to get that bad. I’m none too bad at one-line responses to one-line questions, but anything that needs a substantial response I’m terrible at. And as soon as it drops off the bottom of my inbox, it’s out of my mind.

So, from now on, I’m going to make an effort. I’m going to make use of the “show starred mail” view in my inbox, for one thing. I’m going to reply to things. I’m going to answer questions, write to people, put some effort in to keeping in touch. A friend recently said: “if you want to stop talking to me, tell me so, don’t just stop writing.” And I don’t want people to think I’ve lost interest in them just because I haven’t answered their emails. From now on, I’m going to be responsive.

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