Do you feel the need to respond to your emails immediately?

Notifications abound in today’s world. New emails, text messages, calls, and notifications are continuously buzzing and lighting up our phones, desktops, and tablets. Some may be crucial, while others may be completely unimportant, but it’s really tempting to examine each and every one.

According to a new survey of 1,500 individuals conducted by MailTime.com, an app that seeks to organize and simplify emails, the majority of individuals (52%) who send a work-related email expect a response within 12 to 24 hours, but 60% of people indicate they will wait two days for a response. Nearly one-fifth of your coworkers want you to respond to an email within 12 hours, and almost no one (3 percent) is willing to wait a week. However, 10% of people say they’re willing to wait a week for a personal email response. In actuality, people react even more frequently. The jury is still out on whether responding quickly is beneficial or harmful. Let’s look at both sides of the argument.

Some people prefer to answer right away for a variety of reasons. You can get the ball rolling by acknowledging someone’s email rather than waiting and considering their note. Even if it’s only a one or two word email, this will make you appear proactive and as if you’re taking action.

Nothing irritates or enrages you more than someone who does not respond to your emails. When someone takes a long time to respond, you may begin to believe they are rude and inconsiderate of your time. They may be busy, but if you were more useful or worthy of their time, they would at the very least acknowledge your email. You are being courteous, well-mannered, and respectful by sending a fast acknowledgement email. By responding to their note, you are extending an olive branch to the sender.

Maybe you don’t want to sit around waiting for your email to fill up. Send a brief message to the sender as soon as you receive something that requires a response. When you react to someone, it establishes a sense of personal accountability and demonstrates that you will follow through on whatever you promised.

You can move on to the next message if you respond fast. If you work at a fast pace, you might be able to achieve “inbox zero,” the mystical state in which your email inbox contains no messages that require a response.

Unless you keep your inbox open all day, you won’t be able to answer to emails right away. And if you leave your inbox open all day, your attention will be fragmented throughout the day. Working while “distracted” is a terrible way to spend your day. Multitasking is the worst and most widespread work behavior in today’s office, as discussed here. It causes you to be more stressed and make more mistakes, making it more difficult for you to generate higher-quality work. A distracted person must labor significantly longer to get the same results as a more focused person in a shorter amount of time.

If you believe that those around you anticipate immediate email responses, consider whether this expectation arises because you have trained them to be impatient. This might be the circumstance where you train your employees to anticipate that from you.

Some people believe that responding to emails instantly makes them more productive. Do not, however, confuse activity with productivity. You may spend a whole day dealing with emails and yet not accomplish anything worthwhile.

Being reactive and reacting fast to messages relating to other people’s questions isn’t the only way to be productive. True productivity necessitates being proactive, thinking outside the box, and adding unique value to your company without being told what to do or how to do it.

You will not be promoted or given a raise based on how quickly you answer to emails. Unless your major job obligation is to assist others, your success is evaluated using far more essential indicators than email response time.

That’s especially true at work, when missing an email can make it appear as though you’re ignoring your responsibilities. Still, responding to each email as soon as it arrives in your inbox isn’t always a good idea; it’s how foolish blunders and avoidable errors occur. Furthermore, being constantly interrupted by your notifications isn’t good for your stress levels.

It’s typically enough to check and answer to emails a few times a day (no more than once every hour). While some jobs (such as executive assistant) need or reward being available by email 24 hours a day, few people have jobs that need or reward such behavior.

Why not make closing your mailbox your default setting? If you feel forced to, you can still check it every hour. When you aren’t glued to your work email all day, it’s astonishing how much real work you can get done.

No one has ever complained about my response times since I changed my email habits, and it’s astonishing how much calmer and more productive I am each day. Why don’t you give it a shot? These advantages may be applicable to you as well. When you don’t react to people’s emails right away, you may find that they take you more seriously and value your time.

Check my related post: What should you do if your email has been ignored?


Interesting reads:

https://hbr.org/2014/10/before-you-respond-to-that-email-pause

https://www.utahbusiness.com/work-communication-rules/

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/ignoring-each-other-in-the-age-of-instant-communication/550325/

https://medium.com/@soufron/dont-answer-your-emails-ec8dc22a578f

https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/answer-emails-quickly/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-how-fast-you-should-reply-to-work-emails-2014-12-11

https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/why-you-shouldnt-answer-work-emails-right-away-47314917

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/21/5-reasons-its-a-good-idea-to-instantly-respond-to-emails.html

https://strongerhabits.com/email-habits/

https://www.askamanager.org/2020/09/do-i-respond-to-emails-too-quickly.html

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