A Simple Trick for Sending That Email You’ve Been Putting Off
The push you need to get that tricky message out of your drafts
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There are a variety of emails I need to send that I sometimes drag my feet on — the type of email that I know should go out but rather than send it I busy myself with something much more pressing, like re-organizing my binder clips.
As an introverted overthinker, my reluctance to send something is sometimes mixed up in my own anxieties. If I have to send a follow-up email for something I haven’t gotten a response to (like a nudge on a freelance pitch to make sure it didn’t get lost in an editor’s inbox), I worry that I might be bugging them (even though I’ve heard many editors say that appropriately timed follow-up emails are not a problem). Or if I have to make a request of someone or deliver bad news, I fret about how it might be received.
But a few years ago, I found a trick that helps: I’ll write the email and then schedule it to send later (here’s how to do it in Gmail). Not having to immediately press the send button helps me get over my reluctance to get something out.
If you decide to schedule emails, keep in mind that something in the news cycle might change and thus you run the risk of sending out an overly chipper email in the midst of bad news or sending a follow-up email when you’ve already received a reply. To remedy this, I usually try to schedule the email to go out fairly quickly — sometimes just an hour later. That’s usually long enough for me to set aside my overthinking enough to forget about the email and get it sent.