One of the best habits I’ve picked up in the last few years is sending a handwritten thank-you note when someone does me a favor or goes above and beyond in some way. It’s one of those little habits that requires very little effort but is very effective.
Here are three quick reasons to consider writing regular thank-you notes!
1. It’s quick and inexpensive
Writing and mailing a thank-you note takes roughly 5 minutes and costs about a dollar (including postage). If you keep a package of them in your desk drawer (I use these from Amazon), you can fire one off in less time than it takes you to walk across the office for a cup of coffee.
It doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to be fancy: two or three lines will do the job.
2. It makes the recipient feel good
We all like getting a thank-you note, obviously.
I teach a college study skills class, and a couple years ago a student gave me a small white envelope on the last day of class. Inside was a hand-written note detailing how the class had helped her and thanking me for teaching it.
What a classy move, right?
I’ve taught several hundred students in that class, and many of them stand out for one reason or another. But I’ll remember that student for a long time.
3. It makes you feel good, too
In my experience, writing a thank-you note feels at least as good as receiving one. Here’s why:
Our happiness, moment-to-moment, depends largely on what we choose to focus on.
We can’t ignore the negative things in life, but we tend to give them far too much of our attention. A thank-you note is an expression of gratitude, and gratitude requires us to focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong. It also turns our attention outward, to the task of making someone else feel good instead of living in our own heads.
If you’re not doing so already, consider writing regular thank-you notes. It’s an easy way to create a meaningful moment for someone.
Actually, for two someones.