After sitting in multiple back-to-back meetings on Friday, I realised a common theme had been part of each discussion... are we being driven towards an "Instant society". Let me explain.
Before email and smartphones, communication was based on conversations or letters. These could take days even weeks to arrive. The expected response time was based on the delivery time or if it couldn't wait, we would either up the phone or go and see the person.
Then the Blackberry arrived and meant we could now receive emails outside of normal office hours, shortening the expected response time.
Gone are the days when your first reaction is to pick up the phone and call someone. The expected response time for an email or text message seems to have gone from a day to within the hour (and even that's stretching the friendship).
The pressure and stress of being available 24/7 via email and text messages isn't initially obvious but is present. Have you ever had that call from someone to ask "Have you seen my email or text I sent 10mins ago and why haven't you responded?". I sent this follow up email to someone during the week... yep guilty. The thing is that the pressure to respond instantly takes you out of your routine and day... it is shown that it takes 15 minutes to get back in to your routine once you break it.
A couple of things that have worked for me you might try this week:
Setting and communicating that you have dedicated times to check emails and respond to messages allows you to become more efficient and maintain your focus. That way clients have their expectations set up front (Voicemail message, Email auto response etc)
Ask yourself the question, "do I really need to respond instantly or can this wait?". Do you have to respond at 5.30pm or can the person receive this communication tomorrow morning without risking a life
Coach yourself and those around you to take time out from the Instant community to recharge and "fill your cup"... maybe even try the novel art of talking to each other rather than sending messages.... seemed to work for our grandparents and parents.
If you have any feedback on the Motivator emails you receive, please either send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even better give me a call on 0401610666 as i'd love to catch up.
Have an awesome week!