Is It OK To...Not Apologize

Not apologize every time you're "slow" in responding to an email.

Is It OK To...Not Apologize

Ok Kelly,

What's the max # of days to be delayed in responding to an email before an apology is technically necessary? In today's world of expected instant communications, even those with great communications skills and busy schedules don't finish everyone on the to-do list in 24 hours.

- High Expectation Henrietta

Oh Henrietta -

May I strongly recommend you start using the “out of office” or “autoresponder” feature on your email, as I suspect you don’t want to be perceived as rude (you’re just getting to those pesky emails at a time that works for you, which is what you should be doing, other people’s unrealistic expectations be damned!).

Turn on the autoresponder / out of office / vacation message feature for your email - then use it 24/7! Don’t wait till you’re jetting off somewhere or having a nervous breakdown due to email hostility. Use the autoresponder to set expectations. Tell people when they will hear back from you then faithfully stick to that promise, to yourself and to them (by way of example, one entrepreneur I know tells people precisely when, as in between what hours of the day along with which days of the week, she checks email).

BTW you can find some ideas on what to say (and why), in this decade old, but clearly still timely Fast Company article “The Greatest Productivity Tool You Never Thought Of: Email Autoresponder”.

Ok, hope this suggestion relieves your email response-time stress.


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