Can Answering Messages Change Your Life For The Better?

Okay, don’t lie to me, how many emails or texts have you left unread, unanswered, or unattended to in your inbox? Pushing off important messages causes a lot of problems. Whether it’s school, work, or personal messages, pushing things off and procrastinating is never a good thing to do. And if simply answering messages can change your whole life for the better, why not try?

Messages on Phone

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I tend to push off personal messages even more than work ones. But no matter which types of messages you’re leaving unread, I’m here to talk about the pros and cons of taking a week where you answer every. Single. Message. Within two hours. That’s right, TWO. HOURS. 

Woman Answering Messages

Where The Challenge Comes In When Answering Messages

For me to try this, I needed to first bring the idea to my podcast friends, and of course, none of us really wanted to do it. We’re all rather bad about answering messages from friends, family, etc, so we all needed this one big time (even if we can’t all admit it.) 

Our podcast (listen here), is called Better Off Better. It started with me and my two best friends entering into a verbal agreement that affected my life from then on. We do weekly challenges to test out things that people everywhere seem to think make them better people. Now, we know we aren’t great people. So why not try and fix that though very competitive challenges where we purposely pit ourselves against each other? Doesn’t that sound healthy?

Now, for a lot of people, answering messages from your friends may not be a big deal, but for us, it ends up not happening for days… or weeks… or months… or longer… (I told you we aren’t great people). However, even if it isn’t a problem with answering your friends, and more with more work or school-based-correspondence, the same principles apply! 

So, can answering messages really change your life for the better? Come along on the journey as I tell you how answering every person who reached out to me within two hours for an entire week went. The good and the bad… (and yes, there’s some weird stuff) Let’s get into it!

Answering Emails

Some Positives Of Answering Your Messages

Keeping Up With The Friends

Answering people in a timely manner was super interesting for a lot of reasons, but one of the main positives was just simply keeping up with people! There’s so many simple messages I ignore because I’m focused on something else and just don’t think about it. But keeping up with people consistently instead of ignoring them was eye opening. 

I feel like I miss a lot of what happens in my friend’s lives, and end up catching up on everything all at once when I see them. Especially during this pandemic, when it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing (productive or not). After this week I think I’ll try harder to answer people in a bit more timely manner, even if it isn’t two hours. I felt closer to the people I tend to leave on read in favor of work. So, if you’re wondering if answering messages really changes your life for the better, I think this would be on the positive side of things.

Not Missing Opportunities

Answering messages in a timely manner means better relationships. Better relationships means opportunities Opportunities means more money. And more money means… You get where I’m going with this. Replying in a timely manner is professional and trustworthy. It makes working with you more appealing and talking to you less stressful. 

Being A Reliable Person

People who answer messages are just more reliable in general. No one likes having to rely on a person who seems to never answer texts or emails. (Don’t be the kid in the group project who never does their part until the last night and doesn’t update anyone… please). 

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the last one, but if you never answer people, you risk losing their trust. Professionals or people looking to work with you aren’t going to trust you enough to hire you or recommend you in the future and friends aren’t going to keep reaching out to get no reply. Sometimes it’s tough to de-stress yourself and catch up on those emails from a professor, boss, etc. But it’s really worth it in the end if it keeps your relationships alive and healthy. So if just answering messages can change your life and chance for opportunities for the better, why not take the few extra minutes to do it? 

Now, Onto The Negatives…

Time Consumption

I know this may sound a bit callous, but there’s a lot of conversations or messages from people who aren’t really looking for anything but to talk. Yes, this is totally fine (I’m not a psychopath I swear) but a lot of the time, I’d just rather be working than catching up with people. 

Real life? What’s that?

This is a pretty simple one, but being on your phone or PC all day can take you away from the people around you. You seem distracted and callous even when you’re just trying to be reliable. Answering messages in a timely manner is important, but so is being present. Those around you will definitely notice if your nose is in your phone all day. So answer those messages, but do so respectfully!


Working from home is full of distractions. There’s a million things right at your fingertips; (I’ve tabbed out from writing this article at least 5 times already…) and that makes it so hard to stay focused. Pulling out your phone to see what someone’s dog did this morning may be funny, but it starts a string of distraction that tends to be so hard to snap out of. Messages leads to tiktok, which reminds you you just *have* to buy that face wash you saw someone try, which brings you to amazon, and then you see you left this other item in you cart which reminds you of a project you wanted to start which leads you to Youtube to watch videos about that craft, and on and on and on. 

Distraction is a crazy cycle that kills motivation and work ethic, and a lot of times it starts with answering someone’s text. I know that sounds kind of silly, but it’s really a big problem for me. So I tend to just leave my phone to the side until I’m done with my work for the day or have a designated time for a break. Having to answer everyone in such a timely manner this week definitely killed my motivation sometimes. It also made it more difficult to focus on what I was trying to get done. There was no picking and choosing and saying “oh this person can wait until I finish up my work”. That made answering messages really difficult.

More… Dangerous Distractions

Quite a simple one. DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE!!!! That is all.

Oddball Communications

Okay, this week got a bit weird for me. We decided that for this challenge, every communication should be answered. So, unless it was spam, we replied to every message within two hours. Now, this resulted in a few odd scenarios. First, people who I hadn’t talked to in ages reached out this week. People I didn’t particularly want to talk to again, if you get my drift. 

Second, I got not one, but TWO requests for some sort of sugar baby/findom type things. Which, I mean, that’s all well and good. But the timing turned every odd message request I got into a panic state. “What do I say to this”. Though I did have some fun messing with people… I didn’t particularly want to talk to though to get them to not reply! These awkward situations could be easily avoided though. It really only affected me because we made it a challenge that every single reach-out must be answered. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think this week of answering messages was pretty positive. I didn’t love having to answer messages, but it showed me the value of timely replies. I still leave a lot of messages unread. Though I definitely try a lot harder to answer people within at least a day or so. (yes, this is a big improvement for me I swear!) This is a fun challenge to do for sure. It may even help you get out of a rut of unanswered emails and texts. If you have that problem. 

Can Answering Messages Change Your Life For The Better?

As always, thank you so much for reading, and please let me know if you try this challenge out! I’d love to hear how it went for you!

Check out our podcast Better Off Better to hear us struggle with answering every form of communication for a week!

How about the author of this post, Jenny Whipple

Check out some other articles by Jenny like No Spend Challenge: What You’ll Learn When Spending No Money, Quick Tips For Going Vegetarian, Winston Churchill’s Absurd Daily Routine Will Change Your Life

Also, our Youtube channel for video podcasts and other comedy stuff

Thank you for reading!