Edit Twice, Send Once

My Father was a construction contractor.  My mom called him a “handy-man”.  He was good with his hands and tools, much better than me.  One of the main reasons I am in marketing today is because of my experiences as a teenager in the one hundred plus degree heat in east Texas, framing, roofing, and trimming.  I decided right then and there I was going to work in a nice, cool office.

Dad used to tell his son who was less than gifted at carpentry: “Remember, measure twice and cut once”.

I think about those days often, and with great joy and pride.  My father’s words of wisdom still echo in my mind.

I receive almost 1000 emails a day.  That is not something to boast about, it is just a reality (a reality I am quite sure many of us deal with).  I spend moments on most of them, but some get quality time.  Even in some of the “important” ones, I notice many of these emails are poorly written and have grammatical and punctuation errors.

Now, I am not a great writer.  I am far from it.  And I am worse at spelling.  Long ago, I trained myself to solve for my failings by using my father’s good guidance.

Measure twice, cut once has been adapted to edit twice, send once.

I always read and edit my emails twice before I hit send.  This will not eliminate all mistakes, but it will eradicate most.  (Also, turn on spell-check with automatic review.  This has been a career-saver for me.)  Probably because we need to move so fast in this crazy business world, we hurry through the most basic repeated tasks, like writing and sending emails.

That can work against us, in so many ways.  The email to your wife has the opposite meaning from what you want, the email to your associate is confusing, the email to your client is not professional, etc.  None of these are good for you or the receiver.

The better way is the tried-and-true axiom my father taught me years ago.  I think you should take his advice, too.


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