A few minutes ago, during a Skype conversation with an online service provider, he thanked me for being direct and honest in my comments about his website content.
“Anything less,” I typed, “and I’d be wasting your time.”
Matt replied, “The world would be a better place if more people understood that! haha.”
We all try to cram as much as possible into our overheated schedules, and jealously guard every minute. We get irritated when people waste our time with frivolous comments, and patently irrelevant or clueless messages.
Yet we think nothing of sharing pointless information and self-important “wisdom,” that is only valuable to the kind of procrastinator who’ll read anything because it allows him or her to put off doing something meaningful.
Being pompous, pointless and presumptive in real-life conversations is unacceptable behavior, but being a human smoke machine has became the norm in online communications. We’re much too concerned about being misunderstood or judged, and much less focused on being productive, than is healthy. Here’s a time-tested way to avoid attracting people with nothing to offer you in return:
- Make sure you understand the interests and goals of the person or people you’re talking to
- Think about what information or insights they would find helpful
- Start at the beginning, continue until you’re finished saying what you have to say, then stop. On a dime.
If you can’t routinely follow this process, you’re much more self-indulgent, unproductive and lazy than you think.
To put it bluntly.