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Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for March, 2010

Next Thursday is Closer than ASAP

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Here is an interesting time management observation. In a lot of organisations, including where I work, a large number of requests come in with the timescale for response being As Soon As Possible. Occasionally, requests come in with a specific time scale; “by next Thursday”, for example. Bizarrely, I tend to respond to these requests quicker than those that say ASAP. I think that this is a mixture of “so many things are marked ASAP, so I have to schedule everything marked ASAP, so ASAP starts to mean ‘when I can schedule it'”. As a result all the ASAP things go through an explicit scheduling process, by contrast the unusual “by next Thursday” type requests don’t get held up in this scheduling system. There is a also a vague sense that the person who has taken the trouble to give a precise date has put more thought into when they need the response by.