Too busy for “Thanks”?

If you are as busy as I am (or busier) you are eager to find ways to streamline routine tasks.  One area of potential productivity improvements is email.   I, like many, send hundreds of emails every business day. Most are work-related but some are personal.  Each one has my electronic signature with contact information and social networking links to let the recipient reach me easily.  Pretty standard stuff, right?

As I was updating my signature recently, I contemplated adding “Thanks” to the standard signature.   I invariably end emails thanking the person for something they’ve done, or will do for me, some piece of information they’ve shared (good news or bad) or the an opportunity to do something that I might not otherwise do.

In each case, a thank you is definitely called for.  So putting “Thanks,” in my signature would save me 6 keystrokes, multiplied by, let’s say 250, and that’s 1500  keystrokes.  I’m not a speed demon on the keyboard, so that might actually add up over time.

As I vacillated between, “Thanks,” and the more formal, “Thank you,” I thought about the value of those words.

At their essence they are expressions of gratitude. Simple but powerful.

A sincere thank you can make a person’s day, make them feel appreciated and convey a heartfelt sense of gratefulness.

You may be thinking, “ ’Thank you’ is so overused, it’s become meaningless.”  Perhaps, but what would happen if I stopped typing, “Thank you.”
Would people still respond in a positive manner? Would they be willing to go the extra mile or even nanometer for me?

While I might gain some infinitesimally small amount of time that I’d invariably waste elsewhere, I’d lose the opportunity to pause and be grateful.

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