I blame it on McDonaldization. Today we live in a fast-paced society where patience has been thrown out the window, and instant gratification is king.
So why should “as soon as possible” or ASAP, as we commonly refer to it, be banned from business? Other than the fact that it’s one of those overly abused phrases, here are a few other good reasons:
ASAP allows for mistakes: When you work in a fast-paced industry, an ASAP request does nothing more than to increase the pace and make room for mistakes. Yes, we can handle quick-turnarounds and same-day deadlines if necessary, but a constant flow of ASAP projects allows for more “silly” mistakes to happen.
ASAP hinders quality: When everything is in rush mode, we cannot give our highest level of quality. Our time, mind and creativity are hindered by urgency, and the focus shifts from delivering excellence to merely meeting a deadline.
ASAP causes anxiety: The phrase ASAP sometimes brings with it unnecessary stress. Yes, we understand that rushed projects are unavoidable and part of the nature of our business, but too often the ASAP phrase gets thrown into projects that don’t need to be rushed to begin with. If done frequently enough, the overuse of that phrase may cause that dreaded feeling to creep up every time an email is received from the “ASAP Nazi.”
ASAP impacts other projects: Because of its emergency aspect, the phrase ASAP impacts other client projects by causing us to shift all our focus onto the one project that is needed as soon as possible. This isn’t fair to the other client who requested a project with a long lead time.
ASAP strains relationships: Pool all the above reasons together and you get a pretty unhappy business relationship. Both parties become dissatisfied and one may ultimately decide to end the relationship.
While a complete ban of the phrase ASAP may be a far-fetched idea, we hopefuls can still hope!
Diana Weeks serves as Account Manager for Imagine Communications. Email Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org.