Personal Productivity

The Problem with ASAP

The Problem with ASAP
wrote this on July 17, 2013

When I work on things, I like to take my time.  I think that everyone will agree with me that nothing beats having enough time to work on your tasks at hand…

But alas, time is money.  Time is not an unlimited resource; neither for you nor for your business/employer.

Looking into the way I manage my work today makes me sometimes angry.  I often ask myself “there must be a way to do things faster, better, stronger…right? Wrong!

In our high paced culture, we demand to receive everything here and now.  The people who manage us, the people we employ and the people we work with demand everything ASAP.

Have you ever promised something to someone and said “I’ll get it to you ASAP?”

Sure you have.  Was “ASAP” enough? Were you able to please the recipient…Probably not; it’s never enough…

The Problem with ASAP

The problem is this acronym: ASAP is subjective and therefore it can never please either side.

Tell me if any of this registers with you…You gave it your best effort, but the other parties involved never really appreciated the personal cost and the work you invested with ASAP.

1# ASAP kills creativity

When you’re in a hurry you’re going to mess up, a lot.

You see, creativity takes time. Things need to mature in your head and only after they arrive to a certain point they can be expressed on the medium they were intended to.

2# ASAP kills productivity

When you work hard to deliver something fast, you get exhausted afterwards.

3# ASAP kills quality

Working fast on something delivers mediocre to low results.

4# ASAP kills trust

Since ASAP is subjective, it is more than likely going to be considered a failure by the other party.  You may end up losing the trust of your team or manager.

5# ASAP kills confidence

You failed to deliver what was required from you? Maybe something’s wrong with you…

ASAP on IQTELL's Productivity App

6# ASAP kills plans

When something is shoved down your throat i.e. do it now, everything else gets shoved aside.

Ultimately it’s about setting and managing expectation.  Rather than using the word “ASAP”, state a specific time period and add the qualifier; “this is the fastest time for me to deliver quality results”.  It’s amazing how slight changes in our vernacular can impact our surroundings.  We’ll be that much more productive and reduce our stress all the while.

Till Next Time my friends.  And by next time, I mean next Wednesday at 9:00 AM EDT.  See that, managing expectations….


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6 responses to “The Problem with ASAP”

  1. Justin Withers says:

    Very nice, good length, well put, thanks

  2. Rainer König says:

    Yeah, that is what was missing in the new design of the EZ-Date picker in IQTELL. The ASAP button. :-) Maybe you can schedule it for April 1, 2014. :-)

    But really, I prefer to have real due dates than imaginary ASAPs in my list. :-)

    • Team IQTELL says:

      When everyone knows what to expect, everything ticks like a clock. ASAP is a result of a damaged work culture, never understood what’s wrong with due dates and deadlines.

      …FYI, we have something else planned for April 1st :)

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