The Gap Between Exclamation Marks and Period

Dear fast & furious companies, executives, customers, and vendors, I genuinely think we over-use exclamation marks and the verbiage “as soon as possible”.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a multi-tasking maniac, to-do-list addict, prioritize expert just like many other professionals in business world, but really, an seemingly unnecessary exclamation marks (from my own perspective) in an email isn’t going to push up this specific project.

An exclamation mark, according to Wikipedia, is “a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume, and often marks the end of a sentence.”

So a sentence like this, “Please see so and so’s comment on darkness!” the exclamation mark seems unnecessary. Just in case the person who sends this email doesn’t know how important he/she is to me, maybe I should wear my two pair glasses and hold a magnifier to read that so and so’s comment on darkness.

In today’s business, everyone wants their projects to be prioritized and people seem to get less and less patient due to advanced technology and information overflow. But to make things more effective, in my opinion, is about better communication, not about exclamation marks or “ASAP”.

  • Start each project with detailed phase plan & action item
    Everyone can be filled with great ideas and we all can spend the entire day at conference room talking about brilliant thoughts & genius ideas. But ideas aren’t good enough, and sometimes they even consume too much time and dilute the fundamental purpose of the project. I usually break projects down in to pieces, lay out all the action items and estimate archive time based on the importance of each action item. Don’t over-think, just do it.
  • Ask “how many I help you” or “what can I get you” while discussing projects
    Some of you might disagree with me on this, but I am not much of a conversationalist when it comes to getting things done. Cutting straight to the point of getting things cleared out makes much more sense than relying on fuzzy “relationship” with the person then hoping they will expedite the project because of that.
  • Constantly review project plan with the team
    Needless to say, project scope changes from time to time and people’s expectation does as well. I tend to review few action items with the team whenever a small milestone is accomplished; that really helps each team member share his/her own perception and adjust pace.

What tactics you use to expedite your workflow?

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