Don’t reply to say thanks

Here’s another installation in my rules of email etiquette: Don’t reply to say “thanks”.

One of my basic rules of email is to let the thread (the back and forths) stop. Don’t get in the last word, even if it is “thanks”.

You are working on a spreadsheet (and consulting paper) and your Outlook envelope starts to flash and you stop what you are doing to check your email. A coworker replied, “thx” on their crack berry — you had emailed them a report yesterday. You peck hard on the delete button, sigh, and toggle back to the spreadsheet.

Multiply that interruption times five a day and you now understand the plight of the over-pinged information worker. One more interruption is still one more irritation. In my study on NEDS (New Economy Depression Syndrome), I quoted Heartmath Research Institute talking about how interruption was as bad as overload, when it came to creating information stress.

Let’s be kind and let the digital conversations die with the successful transaction. The next time someone sends you what you ask for or answers your question — tell her thanks in person the next time you see her. For now, give her a break so she can finish her spreadsheet and go home.

PS — This counts 1000% for reply to all thanks. Those will drive you crazy and sometimes create a vicious cross post, leading to a dozen other RE RE RE RE email interruptions in your life.

You can get a pre-release audio version of my Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Etiquette as a special bonus in the Whole Enchilada Media Package.