In the business world whenever I hear ASAP I get turned off. In many situation ASAP does not communicate much except saying that ‘you are just not working fast enough’.
This does not mean that something can not be urgent or critical or have a deadline. If that is the case there are more and better ways of truly conveying the urgency of the situation – ASAP simply does not much but create false sense of urgency all around us.
Here’s why ASAP simply does not work and what other ways we can go.
No help in prioritising – If a boss or a client comes asks for things ASAP it does not give the doer any more information to prioritize between multiple tasks.
When giving a critical task, ask the person what else is on their plate and help them prioritize or else every new will get default higher priority throwing off many things unintentionally.
No recognition of persons readiness for task – Today more and more we are doing creative task which require a right mindset and mental preparedness to do the task. Expecting people to switch gear constantly reduces their ability to do quality work.
Instead simply communicate the overall urgency and realistic deadline and allow the person to work on the task when they are best ready for it. Anyways if the person works on it half heartedly the rework and the quality of work will end up making the task even more late.
No planning or shared responsibility – Usually when ASAP is used, it ends up being one parties responsibility. If its a client, then it sounds like the task is completely vendors and they do not have contribution items or items they can be bottleneck on.
Better approach is to plan out at a basic level how what all is needed to be done and who is contributed how and remove bottlenecks by doing so. Also keep checking in the person needs help.
In summary, if you want things done on time and effectively, take more responsibility and stop throwing ASAP around.