Begin Your Email With A Deadline To Get A Quicker Response

Begin Your Email With A Deadline To Get A Quicker Response
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We receive so much email everyday that emails usually don’t feel urgent, and instead come packaged with the idea the recipient can reply whenever he/she has a chance. If you’re looking for a quick turnaround, productivity blog Stepcase Lifehack recommends you start with a deadline.

Photo by Paul Downey.

Creating a deadline removes the risk of the email going into the procrastination folder and keeps it near the top of their project pile. Skip the small talk and throw a deadline in the first sentence: “Attached, please see the draft of the Tuesday meeting notes, please reply with changes by 9 am Monday.”

Be clear about the deadline and the expected turn-around and don’t waste their time with anything else. Check out the full post at Stepcase LIfehack for a few other helpful tips for inspiring prompt email replies.

5 Ways to Get Faster Email Responses [Stepcase Lifehack]


  • And here’s my reply to an email with such an opening line:

    1. “Your lack of planning does not does not make it my emergency.”
    2. “I will reply to this in my own time balanced against my other priorities. Do not assume consent or anything else because I haven’t replied within your arbitrary deadline.”

    Such a demand is not only rude, but carries the arrogant assumption that the sender’s prioritisation of your time is better than yours.

    • I put most of my content in a quick line in the subject heading. I find most people use email as their calender/to do list. so adding a time deadline is the next natural step

    • +1 to what you said johnd,

      I find the same when people put read-receipts on their e-mails or urgent labels (sure some-times it is warranted) but especially with read-receipts its as if they expect me to reply straight away when I read it.

      Most of the time the e-mails I get with these I take the longest to reply to.

  • Agree with Johnd. If my boss was emailing me with that email, that’s somewhat acceptable (just a very very curt boss). But if it was my workmate (equal etc) it’d just be plain rude! Gtfo overorganiser!

    • Yes but unfortunately the phone gives the respondant deniability later – working on a multi-million dollar project when another unit is responsible for providing answers deadlines and responses in writing (via email) are essential.

      For normal everyday stuff deadlines in emails are pretentious.

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