Please return Your Messages...

A light-hearted look at the way we communicate today!

In this day and age of lightning fast communication and the ability to talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time, it seems like many of us have lost the ability, the will, or maybe just the organizational ability to return messages. This is just common courtesy.

So, please don’t be that guy [gal]! It only takes a little effort. Start by organizing your messages in some kind of a system.  Creating structure to the way that you deal with them can instantly ensure improved communications. I know that with many people, it’s not for lack of good intentions, but things just get lost in the shuffle. With that being said, the goal should be to respond to every email, or message, by the end of the day every day.  Obviously, that does not mean unsolicited emails, but messages that need and deserve a response should be responded to promptly. This can only help you to be more efficient and will go a long way with friends, family, and business associates.

There are many ways to do this, but here is one I like: One of the easiest ways to organize emails is to mark them Unread if you still need to address them, put on the calendar, think about later, or in some other way needs further attention. Read them and then swipe to mark “Unread”. Make your Unread message your priority mailbox: In fact, it is the only one that you really need. That way, you’re only looking at your Unread messages in your inbox, and they will stand out above the rest. Any messages that are Unread are the ones that you need to do something with. Then, when you have a minute to grab a coffee, take a quick break and answer them. This is simple and straight forward.  

Some people just delete messages they don’t need leaving only the follow up ones in their mailbox, and some people archive messages that have been dealt with. The main thing is that you have some kind of system other than hoping that you will remember.  Hope is not a strategy!

Text messages can be a little bit more difficult, because generally they go away once you’ve looked at them and there is not a way to mark Unread.  The best way seems to be to only glance at the notification, if you can read enough of it, and save it unopened until you have time to deal with it. Of course, you can ask Siri to send you reminders very easily! 

There are lots of ways to do it; the most important thing is to do something.  Please respond to your messages; it shouldn’t matter how important, or busy you are. It is simply professional and polite.

Russ Blakeborough is an F&B Consultant and Life Coach. For more information, please visit his website at: