How many times have you said “hang on, just one more email” as your beloved was waiting on you for something?
In my world, I never ever run out of email to respond to. Ever. If I have Inbox Zero (which is how I try to manage my email), all I need to do is sit for a few minutes and wait and another email will show up. If I’m waiting, I can go check Twitter, or Facebook, or even Google+. Of course, there are lots of Youtube videos to search, plenty of funny cat pictures all over the Internet, and – hang on, I just got another email – okay I’m back.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of your beloved. You’ve just told him or her “my email is more important than you.” Of course, that’s not what you meant to say, and you probably didn’t even think that, but it’s what they heard.
This sucks. But you have total control over it.
Over time, I’m learned that whenever Amy says “okay- I’m ready to go” that means that I should immediately stand up from my desk, close my laptop, and head to the door. She used to give me a five minute warning because it took me five minutes to mobilize. Now, since it’s immediate, there’s no warning. Every now and then it takes me 30 seconds to get moving and that’s perfectly comfortable because of my newfound urgency to beat her out the door.
She’s happy because she’s not waiting for me. I’m happy because she’s happy. And most importantly, I’m signaling to her that she’s more important than my email.