The Agilist Network

Tales and Tips from Agile Software Projects

Avoid Doh! with "Intentional Delay"

Posted by kenhoward on November 19, 2008

C’mon, admit it. At some point you have experienced email regret – you sent an email and then slapped your head and said, “Oh no!” Disciplined emailers proof before they send, and one person once told me he counts to 10 before sending emotionally charged emails. Instead, consider building in a preventive measure – set up intentional delay.

If you follow these instructions (for Outlook users) every message you send will remain unsent in the Outbox for one minute before being sent. If you have second thoughts, just go to the Outbox and delete the unsent message, sending the embarrassing or career ending email straight to the bit bucket.

To set this up in Outlook,
  • Click the Tools, Rules & Alerts menu option.
  • Click Start from a blank rule
  • Tick Check message after sending, and click Next
  • Choose on this machine only, and click Next
  • Tick Defer delivery by a number of minutes.
  • Click a number of and enter 1.
  • Click ok, then click Finish.

The one minute delay is a small price to pay to avoid the burden of “What was I thinking!”

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