Schedule your follow-up when you email!

August 26, 2015 by Joshua
in Habits, Tips

I just clicked send. My friend John is going to edit the article. When he sends it back I can submit it.

I don’t have to think about it because I’ll know to act when I get his email.

Have you ever missed a deadline this way? Or lost contact with someone? Or worried about when you’d hear back? Or forgotten about something important?

Relying on your memory for following up distracts you, sometimes for weeks: “Don’t forget to write John if I haven’t heard from him, don’t forget to write John if I haven’t heard from him, don’t forget to write John if I haven’t heard from him, don’t forget to write John if I haven’t heard from him…”

Seriously distracting!

Throw in another responsibility or two and you’re guaranteed to forget something while undermining your efficiency and mental freedom with unproductive thoughts.

The simple solution

If you want mental freedom, effectiveness, and reliability, start this habit! It’s simple and takes seconds.

When you email someone

  1. Think if you should follow up if they haven’t responded
  2. Think when you should respond
  3. Put a note on your calendar for when you should respond like “Ask John how the editing is going if I haven’t heard from him.”

Now you can forget about the responsibility, assuming you keep your calendar close. You don’t have to remember anything.

You can take on more responsibilities if you want, or focus more on the ones you have. Or just relax more.

My calendar is filled with these notes, I follow up and respond on time, and, most importantly, my mind is free from distraction.

If you do this with every email you send that you should follow up, these worries will never bother you and you’ll never miss a follow-up.

No cost. No bother. No delay. No problem.

I’ve heard there are apps and add-ons for popular email services that do this function. I prefer using a tool that works with no new complication or cost: my calendar. If an external program works better for you, go for it.

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