Happy March, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.
My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.
I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. (You can check out my first month HERE.) Here’s how I did in February…
February Resolution #1. Cut down on correspondence response times.
I’ve developed a really annoying habit over the years. All too often, when receiving a text message or an email (especially one that most definitely warrants a response), I wait to respond.
Truth be told, in my earlier years I had a bad habit of popping off notes and emails when I was way too angry to approach them in an effective (read: sane) way. And so maybe in an attempt to slow my roll on that habit, I wandered into the territory of taking my time with ALL my messaging.
So here’s what happens: I get an email. Obviously I read it pretty much as soon as it hits my inbox (because let’s be real we’re all attached to our phones and laptops). ….And then I let it sit. Even when it just warrants a couple sentences that I could easily fire back and be done with! Sometimes I even create a bullet point on my daily To-do list JUST TO RESPOND TO THAT EMAIL.
And I’ll bet you can guess what else sometimes happens. Yep. I forget to respond…completely. *cringe*
Now, this problem mostly existed in terms of personal, as opposed to professional, messaging. But sometimes those lines are blurred, and a responsible/healthy approach in BOTH realms seems like a worthy pursuit. I don’t want to let an email with a potential client get buried in my inbox anymore than I want to hurt a friend by not responding to their text for days on end.
This month, my approach has been pretty simple. If I can respond to an email or text right away…I do. But Beth, you might be asking, does this mean you’re constantly interrupted throughout the day? Well dear reader, I too had similar worries. But they were unwarranted. Because this new approach also involves checking my phone and my inbox at set intervals throughout the day. Instead of constantly. Life changing, y’all.
Going forward: I’ll continue to respond to messages as soon as I can (with the understanding that not every email needs to be perfect, just sent). I’ll check my messages less frequently. I’ll gently check back in with slow responders because HEY, I’ve been there.
February Resolution #2. Ask more thought- or conversation-provoking questions.
Similar to Resolution #1, Resolution #2 is all about relying on technology less in order to communicate MORE. Hear me out.
I believe the art of conversation takes practice. And I kinda think past generations were more aware of this then what we got goin’ on presently. So many of the conversations I find myself in revolve around Person A telling Person B about something they saw in an article online or heard about on social media. Not really opinions or insights so much as, “Well, I read about XYZ…” (Do I sound like an old fuddy-duddy yet?)
I think that as water-cooler communicators and happy hour orators, WE CAN DO BETTER. I know I can do better.
So this month, in an effort to spark more enlightening and entertaining conversations, I resolved to ask more thought-provoking questions. I’d much rather find out about where you were during the O.J. Simpson car chase or ask you what you think your dreams would be like if you were blind (<– real convos I’ve had recently that were AWESOME!) then hear about how tired you are today or what so-and-so tweeted. (Spoiler Alert: We’re ALL tired and I don’t actually care.)
Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t discuss the things we consume online. I LOVE sharing information! But I want FOLLOW-UP questions. What did you think about it? How can we apply this information to our lives? Do you *gasp* disagree? When it comes to everything going on in our (broken) world right now, I want a CONVERSATION not an echo chamber of information.
Going forward: I’ll remind myself that good conversation takes practice and that little inquiries are a way to foster fun communication. I’ll ask follow-up questions. I’ll answer them, too!
Alright friends, onward to March!
How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? Two months down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this!