#1 Be relentlessly responsive
When you receive a request, get in the habit of always responding within a few hours. If you don’t have all the information or need additional time to complete the task, that’s fine, but at least respond to let the sender know you received the email, you’re working on it, and when they should expect a full response. If you are extremely consistent, this one simple habit will raise your stock with most senior leaders. Responsiveness decreases stress and anxiety. For many not knowing is worse than getting bad news so if you’re always circling back to provide confirmations and updates, that’s priceless.
#2 Get in the habit of arriving 5-10 minutes early to everything
This is such a simple way to distinguish yourself in the workplace, and it makes a real impact on others. It’s so easy to become that person who is 5 minutes late to everything. It seems harmless, right? Not necessarily. When I’ve encountered people who always show up to the meeting or call 5 minutes late with an apology and an excuse, I can’t help but think, “Why can’t they just start leaving 5 minutes earlier?” Instead of falling into this tempting trap, do the exact opposite–arrive 5-10 minutes early to everything. You’ll stand out for all the right reasons.
#3 Activate the automatic spell/grammar check on your email application
Inc.’s article Do Typos Matter? reminds us of the embarrassment the Mitt Romney campaign suffered in 2012 when they launched their iPhone app with the banner “A Better Amercia”. The negative press generated by a simple typo seems hardly worth the additional time required to prevent it. While nine out of ten people may not think less of you when you send an email with typos, one person likely will, and you can’t afford to diminish your credibility with 10% of your recipient pool with every email. Regularly sending emails or deliverables with typos are just unforced errors you don’t need. Remember that the tagline “Please excuse typos sent from this device” may do nothing more than confirm to others that you’re not willing to take the additional time to proofread.