Don't Hit Send...Breathe.

Take a deep breathe before you hit send
Email is stupid.

It isn’t properly used by most of us and it creates a tsunami of work and distraction. It can be a misread and a poor way to communicate. But there is one great metaphorical lesson to be learned from the idea of waiting before you hit send.

When I write emails, I rarely send them immediately if they contain more than one sentence. I write it and reread it at least once to make sure that what I mean is what I have said. 

But what I do like about email is the metaphor about pausing, taking a deep breath and not responding immediately without reflecting. 

Don't hit send is a great life lesson beyond the keyboard. 

In my marketing career, I have found that if I am quick to respond I often haven’t really heard the conversation because I was too busy preparing a response. Don't hit send is a nice little phrase to remind us to slow it down, think it through and don't react too quickly. 

Don't hit send (or your computer)

Try these simple tricks.

1. When you are asked a question, take 2 deep breaths. Pause. Don’t respond for at least 10 seconds. Allow the question and your thoughts to form slowly without speaking on auto pilot.

2. When you are asked to do something for someone else, take 2 deep breaths. Pause. Don’t say yes or no right away. Ask them when they need your response. Not everything is urgent nor should every request be given equal weight. It is okay to say, can I get back to you in an hour?  

Breathe. Breathe. Send.

3. When the phone rings and someone says is this a good time, reflexively say no.  Don’t let the person who just interrupted you own your to do list. Perhaps the right answer is yes you have interrupted me. I like to ask phone callers to send me an email explaining why they are calling so I can respond on my own time.  

4. Someone makes you angry. You write an email filled with vitriol. DON’T HIT SEND. Wait until an hour or a day has passed and reflect on what made you angry. Maybe you have some shared responsibility. Maybe you are mad at someone else and taking it out on the wrong person. Maybe you don’t have the facts. Maybe you need a time out and you realize that a phone call will be more effective to discuss the topic.

Don’t hit send is a nice way to remind yourself that in our multi-tasked, turbo fast work world that slowing things down can be an effective way to move forward.  Most of us are evaluated on the quality of our work not its speed. Besides race car drivers, speed in response is rarely the right approach in most work environments.

Breathe deep. Repeat. Rinse. 

So take a few deep breaths. Take a sip of your latte. And don’t hit send.

Note: Take a deep breathe. If you enjoy these posts, would you share them with one interested friend who might enjoy reading my blog. Maybe they work in marketing or run a small to mid-sized business. 

No need to respond. Just breathe. Namaste. 

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