Ever made a request for something to be done only to hear, “I’ll get it done ASAP,” or “I’ll get back to you ASAP”? This response just leads to uncertainty and confusion about what is real and when things will happen. Truth be told, ASAP is a phrase that doesn’t come from anyone who is serious about getting things done. It is a strategy for postponement of work, poor performance, or breaking commitments. It is often a chief cause of breakdowns in teams who count on each other to get things completed in a timely manner. ASAP is the vernacular for the semi-committed. It is for those who seem more comfortable living with unspecified promises than they are about giving the gift of clear commitment.
The phrase ASAP has no specifics or timelines attached to it and shows a lack of concern for others’ commitments and responsibilities. It’s a form of ambiguity that, in the end, will require more work than being clear in the first place. How much more effective could we be if every commitment and conversation were specific? People appreciate it when we tell them what’s real. They are able to stay accountable, share details of the commitment with others, and track progress along the way. The remedy for life productivity and stress reduction rests largely on what we can count on, and counting on ASAP just isn’t possible.
Say good-bye to ASAP, ASAP!