Speed vs ASAP

Speed vs ASAP

“No ASAP” is one of Expio’s Core Values. Here’s a breakdown on why ASAP can be a toxic word in the workplace.

In today’s fast-paced world, the phrase “ASAP” has become a big part of our professional vocabulary. However, what seems like a harmless request for urgency can often lead to disruptions in workflow. ASAP can decrease productivity and create a culture of impatience for everyone. In fact, “No ASAP” is one of Expio’s three core values!

Let’s talk about why choosing a more thorough pace can benefit your team and clients and why emphasizing speed over clarity may not always be the best course of action. 

The Disadvantages of ASAP

ASAP, or “as soon as possible,” may appear like straightforward instruction, yet its vagueness can seriously affect collaboration between teams and project timeframes. Here are some of the main issues connected to the use of ASAP:

  • Disruption in Workflow: Team members may be unable to concentrate on crucial projects if they are continuously moving from one task to another. 
  • Decreased Quality: Rushing through tasks to meet ASAP deadlines frequently leads to poor quality work that is lacking in consideration and detail.
  • Culture of Instant Gratification: Promoting an ASAP mindset creates a culture in which short-term goals are prioritized above long-term goals. The result in short-sighted decision-making versus big-picture thinking.
  • Irritation and Rudeness: Team members may become frustrated if they see an ASAP request as being too demanding and borderline rude.

“At my previous job, the entire (large) company had created a longstanding culture of ASAP-ing each other,” said Expio Chief Relationship Officer Jody Reynolds. “Every project or request was urgent, therefore nothing wasn’t urgent. It was impossible to triage projects or figure out what to work on next, because we all had our hair on fire at all times. Conversely, at Expio, the word ASAP is forbidden internally. Our culture is one of calmness and seeking clarity before any knee-jerk reactions. If a client tells us a project is ASAP, we ask them for clarity: ‘When, exactly, would you like this project completed?’ We’ll ask them. They’ll often respond with, ‘Oh, next Thursday is great.’ Because we sought clarity, we discovered the project wasn’t that urgent at all, and we didn’t have to cause internal chaos and totally disrupt our workflow.”

The Benefits of Prioritizing Speed with Clarity

Contrary to popular belief, prioritizing speed doesn’t always mean sacrificing quality or well-being. By changing the focus from ASAP to clear and reasonable timeframes, we can see some of these benefits:

  • Enhanced Productivity: By establishing reasonable expectations and deadlines, teams may efficiently prioritize work and finish it on time without compromising quality. 
  • Improving Well-Being: A more organized approach to deadlines helps team members feel less stressed and burned out, which creates a happier and healthier work atmosphere. 
  • Better Client Service: Team members provide a better outcome to clients more quickly by making sure internal processes run smoothly and efficiently. This increases clients satisfaction and trust.

Rethinking ASAP: A New Approach

To address the challenges posed by ASAP, organizations can adopt the following strategies:

  • Be like Expio and Ban the Phrase: Taking ASAP out of your employees’ vocabulary sends the message that clarity and specificity are valued over vague urgency.
  • Educate Clients: Have open communication with clients and guide them to provide clear deadlines rather than having an ASAP request.
  • Ask for Details: If you are faced with an urgent request, answer it with a question to make it clear how urgent it is and to set a reasonable deadline. 
  • Experiment and Adapt: Establish ground rules to guarantee consistency throughout the company and be open to try out new strategies. 


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *