You feel your phone buzz. You hear your Outlook ping. You see a light begin blinking on your desk. No matter what type of notification you receive, you know there is a new email in your inbox
, and you may have this reaction: I have to respond immediately.
“We can’t shake the presumption of real-time response,” Juliet Funt, founder of WhiteSpace at Work, told an audience of meeting planners and suppliers at Convening Leaders 2016. “But that’s not how email was designed. Email was designed to be purposefully asynchronous.”
By asynchronous, Funt means that email was meant to be a tool of convenience rather than an ongoing conversation. Instead of feeling like a reply must be sent within five minutes, a recipient could craft a response at an appropriate time. However, the digital era has forced many professionals to spend the majority of their days volleying electronic messages back and forth. In fact, Funt told the Convening Leaders audience that people send a whopping 204 million emails each minute. To help deal with the onslaught of messages, Funt highlighted a practice of NYR codes, which are cues in outbound subject lines that help a recipient recognize whether a message is truly urgent. 1) NYR
Need Your Response
This code helps a recipient understand that he or she needs to take an action; it’s not simply an informative note. 2) NYRT
Need Your Response Today
This code tips a recipient off to the fact that he or she needs to, at some point between 9 AM and 5 PM, get to this message.
Need Your Response Quick
Here’s the code that replaces those annoying double exclamation points that highlight a message’s “High Priority.” By inserting this code, a recipient knows that he or she should open and digest the information as soon as they see the subject line. 4) NYR-NBD
Need Your Response Next Business Day
Here’s one that will ensure anyone your message is not meant to postpone their family plans or force them to stress about failing to respond within a few hours. The code is designed to help recipients know you’re hoping for help when they are back at their desks the following day.
SEE ALSO: 5 Bad Email Habits To Avoid
Interested in more insights from Funt? Click here to watch her full session from Convening Leaders on how you can better manage your work. The program is free for PCMA and Convening Leaders members.