The thing about email, which once revolutionised work communication but now seems almost obsolete, is that it’s an informal medium subject to formal workplace standards. Unlike a Slack message service, a missive sent via email must be properly formatted, include clear syntax, and be free of typos. That’s why you should make a habit of scheduling them to be sent in the future, rather than firing them off immediately after writing them.
Luckily, many email services give you the option to schedule delivery for later, once you’ve had a chance to give them a proper vetting, so you should start scheduling all of your messages — even if only for 10 minutes after they’re written.
You’ll be a better writer because of it
Written communication isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but its necessity spans industries. Cultivating this skill — like many others — boils down to repetition (the more you do it, the more capable you become). If you’re scheduling email delivery ahead of time, you’ll have more time to proofread your messages, correct errors, and gauge the potential shortcomings in your prose to ensure you’re coming through loud and clear.
Self-editing can be tedious, but doing it will also help you recall things you may have forgotten to include in your first draft. Plus, your colleagues will relish the newfound simplicity and effectiveness of your writing, which will only heighten your standing in their eyes.
Your time management will improve
Amid the avalanche presented by a workday, you might only remember to send an important note to co-workers at the end of working hours, after everybody is drained of attention and energy. You don’t want to be that person. Instead, write the email before everyone logs off, but schedule it for bright and early the following morning.
You’ll presumably have more time to field potential responses to your message if they trickle into your inbox at the beginning of a workday. You’ll also endear yourself to your coworkers; nobody thinks highly of the workaholic who spams the company Listserv with something urgent when everyone’s ready to power down their computers and focus on non-work life.
Time management is one of the biggest challenges of the40-hour work week. If you’re able to partially control when that flurry of responses to your emails hit your inbox, that’s one less aspect of your 9 to 5 to stress you out.
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You’ll be less panicked
Having an air-tight missive primed to go will give you more peace of mind than a scattered message sent in haste. It’s understandable that many people have demanding jobs with responsibilities entail fielding a deluge of emails as soon as they’re received. If you are one of them, you’ve no doubt experienced the panic of sending an email before immediately realising you’ve omitted a crucial detail, or spelled someone’s name wrong. If you allow even just 10 minutes delay before wrapping up your note its delivery, you’ll have time to give it a second look, then can close your email tab with a sigh of relief.
Not every job hinges on constant email communication in 2021. But if yours does, scheduled delivery could make it a lot more useful — and make you a better communicator at the same time.