"Thanks for the prompt reply!"

I get email about WOD. Not a lot, maybe… 2 or 3 per week, on average. It’s almost always someone with a question or problem report, which is usually easy to answer, or it’s a suggestion of a feature they want to see. I almost always answer, usually within a day or so. I don’t usually jump on the emails that I do get, and send responses immediately, but try and consider the question and come up with a good answer.

Almost invariably, if I get a reply back to my response, they include some variation of: “thanks for the prompt reply!”

(I am an absolute fiend when it comes to keeping my inbox at zero unread. I don’t get nearly enough volume for it to be even a potential problem, but still, I am ninja)

It strikes me as odd that this is what so many people respond with. I was puzzled when I got the first reply like that; I was even more puzzled when people kept responding with it. This is just speculation, but it must be that:

  1. People expect that anyone who sells them something will not consider them worth the bother of a quick response, and thus they expect a response, if any comes at all, will be delayed by a few days.

  2. People generally fill their time with senseless crap that does little more than distract their focus from their task at hand. This makes it easy for them to delay responses, or forget about them entirely, because they are swamped with other junk.

The recipe for success at something doesn’t strike me as all that complicated.

  • Don’t fill your time with things that contribute too little (meetings, of course, are the prime example of time-filling nonsense).

  • Be obsessive about the things you love to do and do well.

There might be more, but that’s a start.

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