But, maybe one of the most powerful inadvertent lessons was:
Your replies don’t need to match the length of the questions being asked.
See, here’s the deal…
I get a lot of email. A lot. 300 to 500…a day. And, those are the ones that make it through the spam filters. Of those, more than a third can still be DOA—Deleted On Arrival. But, that still means another 200-300-ish that need action, often replies.
And, I started noticing an odd behavior when replying to long, rambling emails…
I felt somehow compelled to match the length of the original email with my reply. So, if someone sent a 5 paragraph, 250 word email, even if I could answer it with 5 words, I wouldn’t. I’d build more content into my reply as a way of, I don’t know, honoring the effort that went into the original email.
Then, I woke up.
And, Seth had a big role in that. One of the things I love about Seth is that he replies to email. Often in seconds. But, his replies are usually just a few words. Not because he doesn’t care or doesn’t put thought into them. But, because 99% of the time, that’s all it takes. Seth is apparently not hung up on matching the length of the original email.
I began to realize, most of those rambling 250 word emails I was getting could’ve easily been chopped down to 25 words with a bit of forethought and editing.
I didn’t ask for an essay where a stanza would do.
So, why would I feel bound, in my reply, to match the level of unnecessary “ramble-ocity?”
Decision made, I now reply to emails with the shortest possible response. Sometimes I feel a little weird doing it.
But, then I remember.
It’s not an insult.
It’s not that I don’t care…
I just really enjoy life outside my inbox.
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