Thoughts on… Not Replying to Messages

I am terrible at replying to messages – whether that’s emails, texts, WhatsApp messages, FB messages, any form of messaging contact I am bad at replying. I’m not always sure why I am so bad. Sometimes I see a message, open it and think “must reply to that” but I’m doing something else and forget and next thing I know it is three days (or more) later. Sometimes I don’t even open the message because then I think, the notification will stay there to remind me to read and reply, and in the case of WhatsApp – they won’t know I’ve read it and then am ignoring them/forgotten all about it. Sometimes this prompts me to reply sooner rather than later, other times I end up with dozens of notifications on my phone I’m ignoring.

As I write this post I currently have 104 unread emails staring at me from my phone. These emails are from four accounts; my work email, my blog email, my personal email and my “professional” email aka the one I use when applying for jobs and LinkedIn and such. Many of these emails are notifications from my blog (new followers, comments etc), automated emails from sites like Etsy, AO3 and LinkedIn, and emails about my latest Amazon order. Probably only 10 emails or less are something I need to actively read and reply to – so why aren’t I?

Sometimes I think it could be a kind of anxiety thing (I don’t have anxiety but how I feel about the pressures of emails mounting up does make me feel a bit uneasy) If I don’t open them, I don’t have to deal with it, but then there’s more and more of them and that puts me off opening them even more.

Sometimes I don’t feel like talking to people – this one is probably a bit more of a problem when it comes to emails to my blog-related email account, especially if it’s someone offering me the opportunity to review something. My close friends know I’m generally slow at replying to a text/WhatsApp message and understand that a three-day wait is pretty normal for me, but with other people it doesn’t always work and I must force myself to reply as soon as I get the message otherwise I won’t for ages. I just know what I’m like.

It’s weird because for work, I can reply pretty promptly to an email, or at least within 24 hours if I reply the next day (I refuse to deal with work emails at home) but with personal ones I put it off a bit. Maybe it’s because at work I feel people are relying on me or are waiting for a response before they can do something else but to be honest, anyone who emails me, whether that’s for work, my blog, or personal, are waiting for a response so that’s no real excuse. Maybe it’s because with work I have to reply or there’s a network of people to have a go at me if I don’t, whereas anything to my personal or blog email account, it’s up to me to reply and deal with it – no one’s making me besides my own conscience, and that takes a back seat sometimes.

Really this post is me, trying to put my thoughts in order on why I am so terrible at replying to messages. I don’t think I’ve really succeeded but if you ever email me about my blog, or leave a comment that I take a week to reply to, maybe you can now see why I take so long to respond.

Replying to messages more quickly is something I’m working on. Now, to prove that I’m going to go and whittle down my unread emails – even if it’s marking a lot of them as read!

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