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Text Ranking

Depending on the number of friends and acquaintances you have, you may find that you are constantly inundated with text messages.  Or, that you receive them at the most inconvenient times.  What can you do?  If you ignore messages from friends they may simply stop including you, or texting you altogether.  For some friends, this may be a blessing.  While others you don’t want to offend.  Or, if you regularly delay responding to your boss or colleagues, you may find that important messages (for example, when the boss is out and the party is on) are not viewed until it is too late.

Problem

You receive a number of text messages at the same time or at an inconvenient time (for example, during a hot date or when your boss is trying to get your attention) and don’t know when or how to respond.  Of course, phone on the other foot, you are probably texting your friends up the wazoo.

Solution

Give incoming text messages a grade:  A for important, B for fun to read, C for it can wait and D for ignore.  You can make up your own categories.  These letters serve as a ranking or priority.   Read your messages based on this rank and the situation that you are in.

Recipe

Develop a grade that you can use to determine the importance of a message based on its sender and what you are doing at the time.

  1. For example, use A for important, B for fun to read, C for it can wait and D to ignore.
  2. Ask yourself which of the people in this list send you important messages.  By important, I mean, you need to respond rather rapidly to the message.  For example, your boss may seldom text you, but when he does, it means that you are needed for some task.  He would be assigned A level during the weekdays, especially if he consistently sends these urgent messages.  Whereas your girlfriend or boyfriend sends mostly trivia.  Enjoyable, yes!  But not earthy shuttling in terms of its immediacy.   So, assign them a B.  You want to respond, but usually it is not urgent.
  3. For each member in your list, separate the top priority senders and assign them an A or B.
  4. Now, go back through this list and review their recent messages.  Adjust their ranking based on recent history.  Have they been sending urgent messages recently?  Are these messages important to respond quickly to?  Move them higher or lower in the scale based on their recent messaging.
  5. Annotate their contact profile if you need to.  But otherwise, keep their number handy in case you are in a situation where they text you and you are involved in other matters.
  6. Now, keep in mind that your situations will determine which level of text to receive.   If you are on a hot date, maybe the A+ messages would get through.  Ignore everything else until later.  Still go through your text messages, just not right away.  If you are in a movie, you may respond to A messages, if your seat-mates don’t mind.  If you are bored, you may take all comers (A through D).
  7. Once you have read a text message, you are not obligated to respond right away.  Again, based on the ranking, you may choose to respond later. That’s your call.

This method is not foolproof.  But it does give you a means of responding to messages as they arrive, just based on the person and situation.

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