Are you responsive enough?

It’s downright annoying when people don’t respond to requests in a timely fashion. Make sure that you aren’t disrespecting people’s time by following these tips:

Respond within 24 hours. When you don’t respond at all, people assume you are ignoring them or that you never got the message to begin with. Always respond, even if it’s just to say, “I don’t have the answers yet” or “I’m working on it.” Provide an approximate time for when you will follow up.

Establish expectations. If the person doesn’t provide you with a deadline for returning an email or voicemail or fulfilling the request, ask for one.

Put it on your to-do list immediately. Tasks you must do for other people are a top priority, so stop what you’re doing, and put it at the top of your list. Then make sure you deliver on time.

— Adapted from “9 Tips for Being More Responsive to Clients,” Cheryl Meyer, CPA Insider, www.journalofaccountancy.com.