We live in a day when the pressure for instant responses is so high that it drives some of us mad and others off social platforms. It also drives deep issues that we will never be able to get away from and the addiction to screens and phones.
The last few weeks have taught me that indeed opportunities can be lost if they are time bound however a thoughtful or well thought out answer is better and if you cannot do that in your current state, do not attempt to.
The assault from all the social stimuli can either be overwhelming or lifechanging depending on how you look at it. I could either keep working on every message that comes immediately it comes or I could take time to process yet too often people want instant responses.
I remember when I turned off the blue tick and last seen options on Whatsapp as well as stopped responding on demand, I got many complaints from people. The young people I was leading begun complaining. It was weird because the group was previously quiet of youthful comments and lots of the leader’s comments. I began responding when I could and if it was in a group and someone else can answer, I stopped being the one on the line. I even left groups when they did not meet the said objective caused alarm in some of my circles.
Why did I do this?
I needed to add margin in my life and protect my mental health. As I wondered what to do, I found myself listening carefully to conversations around me about the same keenly and learnt a lot. As if on cue, information found me that transformed how I responded. I learnt something big from two of my life examples about responding to messages and requests.
One said, “I will never respond until I have clarity on what you need to hear, I have something to say and I will never hold back the truth from you.”
The other said, “Never feel the pressure to respond to messages immediately, respond when you have time and you know the right thing to say. Just remember to respond within 24 hours.”
It takes a lot of the weight of life off your shoulders when you realise that best time to communicate is when you are at your best. Your communication includes your words, tone, thoughts and attitude which all come out clearly every time we write or speak. Be sure to watch over your communication every day and it is better to be silent when you aren’t sure how it will come out.
This realization has really helped me as I find many more things on my plate.
I stop and check myself before any conversation and ask myself:
- What is this person asking?
- What state am I in?
- Do I have the time to focus and answer effective now?
Why do I ask these questions? Simple…they determine the quality of the answer and engagement we will have. What happens if I cannot answer positively? I don’t answer right then, If I need to read, I do. If I need to rest, I do. If I need to consult, I do. If I need to draft and re-read, I do. Whatever needs to be done to ensure clear communication has to be done.
Let’s be deliberate about our health and communication.