Manage Expectations with Email

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinby feather

People put a variety of information in their email signature files, from business phone numbers to favorite quotations to colorful images of their signatures. I recently got an email that had a very clever sig line, as follows:

"I reply to emails at 8AM, 2PM and 4PM.
Calls returned: 10-11AM, 1-2PM and 5-6PM."

Short and sweet, gets right to the point.

If you find yourself constantly interrupted by emails and calls (and can't seem to resist answering/looking at them), try managing the expectations of your correspondents this way. Tack a similar phrase onto the end of your outgoing voicemail, too.

6 thoughts on “Manage Expectations with Email

  1. I love this idea, Claire. I think it originally came from genius lifestyle designer, Timothy Ferris, author of the Four Hour Work Week. Problem is, if you are a global market researcher/consultant, it’s going to be tough making that work through various time zones. As it is, I am frequently trying to figure out how to do a conference call with Dublin and another with Taipei in the same 24 hours and be appropriately responsive to all, much less drive to my meeting in Sunnyvale. Love your blog and thanks for letting me vent. Your fellow LWL’er.

  2. I love this idea, Claire. I think it originally came from genius lifestyle designer, Timothy Ferris, author of the Four Hour Work Week. Problem is, if you are a global market researcher/consultant, it’s going to be tough making that work through various time zones. As it is, I am frequently trying to figure out how to do a conference call with Dublin and another with Taipei in the same 24 hours and be appropriately responsive to all, much less drive to my meeting in Sunnyvale. Love your blog and thanks for letting me vent. Your fellow LWL’er.

  3. Sarah,
    Wow, that’s a really good point about global time zones. Hadn’t thought of that. I guess I would go back to the old standby, that you’ll respond to all correspondence within 24 hours (or whatever time period seems appropriate).
    The important part is to find that sweet spot where you’re being as responsive as possible, but not letting your life be run by everyone else’s deadlines.

  4. Sarah,
    Wow, that’s a really good point about global time zones. Hadn’t thought of that. I guess I would go back to the old standby, that you’ll respond to all correspondence within 24 hours (or whatever time period seems appropriate).
    The important part is to find that sweet spot where you’re being as responsive as possible, but not letting your life be run by everyone else’s deadlines.

Comments are closed.