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Why you should plan all your emails

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I can’t remember the last time I just clicked alt Send to an email. And it’s not because I’m neglecting my inbox – I’m actually at inbox zero and have a lot strong opinions about writing back via email. That’s because I schedule almost all of my emails.

Why you should schedule emails for later

Of course, there are times when scheduling an email to send later doesn’t make sense. If you’re trying to close a deal or make a quick decision about something over email, you can click happily Send In that moment.

However, unless your email or reply is very time sensitive, consider scheduling it for later. Here’s why.

1. It gives you time to change your mind

Used past me Undo Send Function in Gmail the whole time. But that only gives me a few seconds to realize that I sent the wrong information or didn’t include the required attachment or forgot to CC the person I said I CCed set or other how-tos-always fix – mistakes I’ve made happen. Even scheduling your emails to go out in five or 10 minutes can help prevent this nonsense.

But it also works for larger images.

Think of the coin flip effect. (Did I invent this phenomenon? I hope so.) You can’t make up your mind about something, so you flip a coin. The moment the coin lands – no matter how it lands – your gut will tell you what outcome you were hoping for.

click Send to an email has the same effect. Let’s say you’re not sure if you want to speak at a webinar that someone asked you to do. For clarity, reply to the email (either yes or no – it doesn’t matter) and click on it Schedule sending. You will either feel a sense of relief or a sense of fear. You now know your answer.

The difference between this tactic and just “sleeping on it” or writing as a draft is that it feels more like a real decision. You have a deadline: This email will be sent at the scheduled time unless you actively change it.

2. You can work whenever you want

I often work the time shift, for example working an hour at night because I went to sing along to my child’s school during the day or just decided I needed a long break for an iced mocha. (The joys of flexible working hours.) That means I sometimes send emails at 9pm my time. And when people know where I am, that’s not always great. Here’s why:

  • It might make people think my company is not a good place to work (which is the opposite of the point; I work these hours for Zapierthe flexible working policies of ).
  • No one wants to imagine a semi-stranger working on their couch in their pajamas survivor continues to run in the background. What happens if I’m online at 9pm
  • The recipient might think I always work at that time, which sets bad precedent and makes them expect me to reply at all times.

If I schedule those 9pm emails for 9am the next morning, the problem is solved.

3. You can reply to people instantly

Imagine you send someone an email asking for their opinion on something small and 10 minutes later you get a reply with their opinion. Ten minutes is a decent amount of time to think about something small, do some quick research, and write back (especially if you’re following mine Five Minute Email Rule). But your first reaction will be: Wow, they didn’t think about that enough.

If the person took exactly the same time, but the email showed up in your inbox six hours later, or even the next day, should you think they gave it more thought. They didn’t – but perception is reality.

Especially if you Stack your emailyou will see some messages as soon as they arrive. It’s sometimes helpful for the recipient to reply immediately, but usually delaying is the way to go – it will give the person a better sense of the thoughtfulness and intention of the reply.

4. You have less email stress

Email stress is the main reason I schedule emails for later. And in this case, “later” isn’t some fuzzy amount of time — it’s a really specific time that I know I’m ready for the recipient to read the email. That time is decided not at the end of my working day or in the last hours before my weekend.

Example: It’s Friday 4pm and I’m sending an email that I know the recipient won’t be thrilled with (e.g. telling a freelancer that their work needs a lot of editing). I have the feeling that I either get a lot of questions or an unsatisfied answer. If the person is at their desk when I send the email, they might read it right away—at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday. So then:

  • I ruined her weekend.
  • I ruined my weekend because I’m stressed about how they’re going to react.
  • I ruined my weekend even more checking my work email just in case, hoping they wrote back in a perfectly understanding way.
  • If you did writing back, I’ll either have to let them hang until Monday morning or work the weekend to reply in a timely manner.

But just as annoying not writing this email even though I’m thinking about it. There’s one more thing I haven’t ticked off my to-do list, I don’t have it Inbox zero I’m heading into the weekend and Monday morning I have an emotionally draining task ahead of me.

Scheduling shipping avoids all of that.

However, it’s not just useful for these types of bad news emails. Maybe you just want to schedule an email for someone who’s back from vacation so you don’t clog up their inbox; maybe you want to send someone a link to new content, but the link won’t go live until you’re offline; There are many reasons to do this. Whatever the reason, it means you can cross emails off your to-do list when you’re ready to write them — even if the recipient doesn’t want to receive them just yet.

Some restrictions on email scheduling

Scheduling emails only takes a few clicks in most email clients, but you should refine the exercise.

  • Schedule the email for a random time. If people keep getting emails from you every day at 1:00 p.m. (Gmail’s suggested send time), you might get a glimpse of what’s happening. So plan to send your email at a slightly more random time – follow your heart.
  • Unschedule the message if you change your mind. When you start out, it’s easy to get confused Schedule sending function with a drafts Characteristic. Your email is sent if you do nothing about it. So if you change your mind or need to add or remove something from the email, do so before the scheduled time.
  • Remember that “tomorrow” may not mean tomorrow. If you’re using time-based language, make sure it matches the scheduled email time. I recommend removing “today,” “tomorrow,” and similar terms entirely from your email lexicon and using accurate dates instead.

Email is already asynchronous, so why not use that to your advantage? If you’re willing to delay your email, here is How to schedule an email in Gmail.


That article originally appeared on Zapier’s blog and is reprinted with permission.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90741047/why-you-should-schedule-all-your-emails?partner=feedburner&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&utm_content=feedburner Why you should plan all your emails

JACLYN DIAZ

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