We Need to Ban ‘Sorry For the Delay’ From
Our Email Vocabulary
Don’t apologize for not being glued to
Guilty! I admit to opening emails that way two or three times a day. Apparently, many others do too, and it turns out we are sabotaging ourselves.
- Stick to your plan for the day. Don’t let projects take longer than required by accepting email interruptions as urgent demands on your time.
- Identify which emails need immediate action, some action soon, or no action at all. Try to read emails one time only, and after that one time, delete, file, assign a date, or forward to someone else to handle. Make it easy by setting up email rules so prioritizing is automated.
- Set a schedule for reading emails at work. Would every two hours suffice? Set aside time upon arrival at work, mid-morning, before lunch, mid-afternoon, end of day. Unless you are in the middle of an emergency, discipline yourself to wait.
- Stop apologizing for reasonable response times. If necessary, consider replying to advise of your expected action and completion date when needed, but do not begin emails with an apology for not being at someone’s beck-and-call every minute.