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What is a timely response? (Email and Calendar)

October 31, 2022 / in Brain Food / by

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Hello friends! This is going live on Halloween, so Happy Halloween! I did my final workout to complete “Hell Week” at Orange Theory this morning. WHEW! I am glad that’s over. :)

This week, it’s time for another Brain Food video. What has come up a lot lately in conversations with clients and friends is the topic of timely responses to email and calendar invites. So I dig in on that today.

My Response Time Goal: One Business Day

As far as email, my goal is to always respond to emails within one business day. Usually, I respond in less than an hour, but almost always same day. Why? Because I am thinking about the person on the other end that sent me that email or calendar invite. I want them to know that they matter and I value their time. (Of course, I get lots of emails that don’t get this kind of response time, especially emails from people I don’t know trying to sell me something.)

I also respond as quickly as I can to calendar invites. I don’t want to be the bottleneck.

Why does this matter?

Let’s say you’ve talked with someone and then send them an email with your proposal to do business together. And you start waiting. And four days later, you still haven’t heard anything back. It’s not a good feeling. Did they get the email? Are they too busy to respond after you put the time in to get them the proposal?

Lots of things go through someone’s head when they don’t get a timely response. And most of them are negative. That’s why this matters.

Time to take stock.

If you ask yourself the question, “Do I respond within one business day?” and your answer is “Nope.” then I encourage you to figure out a better way. Hire an assistant. Spread the work load. Block your calendar to give you enough time to respond to email.

Whatever the solution is, falling behind can often become a bottomless pit of always being behind. That has an emotional impact on you as well as the people trying to reach you. Responding 2-3 days later can lead to a lot of negative outcomes. And the worst part? You might not even know that you offended someone by delaying so long.

The good news? Most of the people reading this respond in a timely manner! If that’s you, I bet you can think of at least one or two people that are always late responding to you. They have developed a reputation for being late. Definitely not a good thing for their professional career.

Let me know what you think! Do you need to step up your game in response time or are you good to go? Have any stories you want to share with me about having to wait to hear back from someone?

Have a great week!

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