Unplug & Recharge//

We Need to Ban ‘Sorry For the Delay’ From Our Email Vocabulary

Don’t apologize for not being glued to your inbox.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Dear anyone who includes “sorry for the late response” in emails you respond to a day or two after receiving them: You have to stop.

As writer Melissa Dahl explains in this Science of Us piece, when we apologize for these “delayed” responses (which, in reality, aren’t that delayed at all) it feeds into an unhealthy work culture where we feel the need to be attached to our inboxes at all times. Dahl points to a piece by Melissa Febos on Catapult where she writes that people who apologize for taking a “reasonable” amount of time to respond “are ruining it for the rest of us (and yourself) by reinforcing the increasingly accepted expectation of immediate response.”

So what can we do to escape this email dilemma? Dahl uses Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, as a role model to follow. Ariely (who has a form set up in his inbox that requires people to note their deadline for a reply) was recently featured on the Game Plan podcast where he said, “with email, we treat everything as if we’re in a hurry…there’s a huge difference between important and urgent.” Short of creating your own Ariely-style inbox form (a genius idea, we must say) Science of Us suggests simply asking people when they need a reply by or if their message is urgent. Having this information could make a huge difference in alleviating unnecessary email stress and helping you escape the inbox so you can actually attend to what matters.

Most importantly, stop apologizing for having a humane relationship with your inbox.

Read more on Science of Us.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Unplug & Recharge//

Asking Yourself These Questions Can Help You Get Control Of Your Inbox

by Shelby Lorman
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images
Wisdom//

How to Apologize for a Crazy-Delayed Email Reply

by Glassdoor
Hero Images/ GETTY IMAGES
Ask an Expert//

This is How to Set Boundaries Once and For All

by Cara Alwill Leyba

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.