Your inbox is overflowing with unread emails and the idea of opening one is filling you with dread — not because of the work it’s going to add to your day or you have a feeling you already know the answer to a question you posed earlier but, rather, it’s the annoying phrases your eyes are going to have to absorb for the umpteenth time.
Most of us are forced to read dozens of work emails on a daily basis, but the task gets even more laborious when the same phrases are in said messages often. Too often. Painfully often.
From the most annoying sign-offs to unnecessary words, we look at the most irksome of the bunch. And in case you’re looking to change things up, we’ve come up with some suggestions you may want to use instead.
“I’ll make this quick”
Try this instead:Immediately address whatever it is you want to address with the person you are emailing. No build-up, no lead-in, no prefacing, just the nitty gritty.
“I hope this email finds you well”
Try this instead:If an opener is really required, bring up a shared commonality or something fun from the past. If it's a new contact, mention a mutual connection. "Can you believe the score of the game last night? Unreal!"
“Not sure if you saw my last e-mail”
Try this instead:Because everyone is busy, it's safe to assume people see our e-mails — but may not have time to actually respond. Consider a "bumping this up" or follow up with an ask, action item or deadline to prompt response.
“Is that OK?”
Try this instead:End strong. "If there are any questions or concerns, please reach out."
Try this instead:Don't point out you're repeating yourself, just say what you mean and deliver whatever message you're trying to without an awkward intro.
“Sorry to bother you”
Try this instead:Take a more direct and concise approach. "Please let me know when the deadline is."
Try this instead:Get right to the point and ensure they know you're referring to the now — not the past.
“As previously stated”
Try this instead:If you think there's value in repeating whatever it is you want to say, just say it — and include a solid rationale. It's the "because" part that will prompt someone to pay attention. Let them know why they should listen to the previously stated.
Pro-tip: "Because I said so" is a garbage response so make sure you have something better than that.