Career Advice AUDIO / Self-Management

Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette

Should emails be answered within a short amount of time after they are received? You may believe so, especially when you happen to be the one waiting for a response. Let’s talk about email etiquette and get clear on what is reasonable.

I am a huge proponent of establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself in all aspects of your life.

It’s self-management 101.

The tricky part is that what constitutes a healthy boundary can vary with different circumstances.

When it comes to email correspondences, some people are downright obsessed with answering emails within minutes of when they arrive, and they may expect others to do the same.

This is not reflective of a healthy boundary.

Emails are not for emergency situations and therefore need not be treated as such.

Just because you sent an email at 3 p.m. doesn’t mean to expect a response at 3:15. It’s not likely that the person you sent it to received it right away, and even if they did, chances are pretty good they’re in the middle of something else that can’t be interrupted just to appease your sense of urgency or timeliness.

Do you always read emails within seconds of them being sent, and then respond within minutes?

Probably not, because when you are busy with a task or project, stopping to check your email every half-hour is not conducive to productivity.

So, how can you practice sane and reasonable methods of self-management around sending and receiving email messages?

One effective way is to allow and expect yourself and others to take some time to respond. Don’t set yourself up for frustration and disappointment by having unreasonable expectations.

If you have a pressing matter that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, I would suggest making a phone call instead of sending an email.

I assure you that others will do the same. No one opts to send an email when someone is being rushed to the hospital or there is some other emergency situation that needs to be addressed immediately.

So, if you are obsessed with instant gratification around sending and receiving emails, I recommend re-evaluating your expectations.

Relax and allow yourself and others time and space to respond when it’s convenient.



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