The end of email guilt

The other day someone apologized yet again for not getting back to me sooner, and it occurred to me that maybe it’s really time I reference my guilt-free policy in every email.

Which would be awesome. Because then I could just say (chirpily), “Please see my 100% guilt-free communication policy“.

Of course you can’t actually see it, since it’s in my head, but it’s still a policy.

Yeah, that’s right. I have a strongly-held 100% guilt-free correspondence policy.

Because, for some reason, despite the fact that it seems to me as though I do nothing but talk about my guilt-free email policy, no one seems to actually know about it.

My policy? Why, yes, I have one. Haven’t I already told you about it? It’s 100% guilt-free, guaranteed. For real.

So here’s how it works.

If I write to you and you don’t write back, and I find myself really wanting an answer on something, I can always send another email that says “Hey, could I get a response on this thing?”

Otherwise you’re good.

Only write something when you feel like it. Don’t write when you don’t feel like it. No need to feel bad if you do feel like it but you don’t get around to it. We’re cool.

You know when you write to me and say “Sorry for not getting back to you, but …”?

Don’t do that. You don’t have to say that.

That’s what a guilt-free email policy means.

It means I assume that — like me — you’re busy with a hundred different things, you’ve got stuff going on, and that you still love and adore me, like I do you. Mwah.

It means that guilt is unnecessary and it’s harmful and there’s no reason to take it on when you don’t have to.

It also means that, as far as I’m concerned, you don’t need those irritating Tim-Ferriss-ey autoresponders that say you won’t be getting back to me for X amount of time … because I don’t care. Get back to me whenever. Seriously.

I said you couldn’t see my policy, but now I’m going to write it down so you can.

Which is silly, because just reading the words “guilt-free correspondence policy” should have done the trick and calmed you the heck down. But whatever, here’s the policy.

The Official 100% Guilt-Free Correspondence Policy

There is no need to feel guilty when you don’t answer an email right away. Or ever.

Sincerely, Havi Brooks and Selma the Duck

If you’d like you can send a short “Can’t get to this at the moment, will catch up when I can”. But you don’t have to. We’re cool.

Got it? Good.

(Unless you work for me, in which case some policies, ahem, may not apply).