I have a friend of mine who owns a business and would send the most atrocious emails.
These are emails with typos, no punctuation or capitalisation, and little paragraphing. I always thought it to be most unprofessional.
That is until I started to do it.
It started innocently enough when replying to emails via phone, where responses tended to be brief and sometimes have typos because of autocorrect. And people didn’t mind.
Before I would be diligent in responding to emails, I would ensure the grammar was right, and that everything I wrote made sense. Separate my content in paragraphs, and ensure the punctuation was correct.
All of this took time, and I would find myself responding to emails two, or three days later, or maybe even a week. Sometimes I would never respond to an email at all if I couldn’t put the time aside to answer clearly.
But then I realised that nothing happened when I started to send to poor quality emails. Perhaps people did mind, but no one said anything. People were responding to me as before, and things were getting done. And now that I was responding quickly to people, even more was getting done.
So it doesn’t bother me too much that the email is imperfect. Heck, I click send even if Outlook shows me several works underlined indicating that the spelling is off. As long as people get the gist, I tell myself. If anyone doesn’t take the time to seek clarity if they don’t understand, then that’s their fault.
If an email is critical, though, I will still take my time and have it well typed out. Otherwise, aiming for perfection on other emails is wasting time for minimal benefit; the opportunity cost is too high, and ain’t nobody got time for that.