The 24 Hour Rule

I was working with someone last week to schedule a meeting with 7 other people. We had sent out an email with all the details and gave a deadline 5 days out to respond to various action items.  On the day of the deadline, we had still not heard from half the group.  I had to send a second email reminding the group about the deadline and promptly got everyone’s responses. Why did they wait so long to respond?  If they could respond so quickly to the second email, why couldn’t they have responded just as quickly to the first?

I am guilty of this too.  A friend called me on a Friday and when she hadn’t heard from me by Sunday, emailed to make sure that I was OK.  I am sure that you are either guilty of this offense or have been on the receiving end of the ‘no response’.

In this day of instant messaging and access to email and text messages from our phones which we carry with us everywhere, why is it that so many people don’t respond, don’t call back and don’t RSVP. Are we too busy? Are we just rude?  OR, are we not placing high enough priority on prompt responsiveness and our personal relationships.

If we waited several days to call our mothers back, we would probably find the cops or fire department banging down our front door.  Whether personal or for business, I think we should adopt the 24 hour rule.  If you are soooo busy that you can’t find the time to call someone, then shoot them an email and arrange a time for the call.  If you have an email that requires lots of time and thought, at least send an email back telling the sender that you need a little time and will respond by____ (fill in the blank). Responding promptly will let the people in your life know that you appreciate and respect them and their time.

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