It’s good to encourage people to work quickly for you, but knowing how to do so politely is hard. You may have tried “at your earliest convenience,” but is it the most polite phrase?
In this article, we’ll look into some polite and formal synonyms.
Is It Formal to Say “At Your Earliest Convenience”?
“At your earliest convenience” is a formal phrase. Moreover, it’s a very professional phrase that shows you’d like someone to get on to something quickly.
It’s also quite polite. It allows the recipient of an email to do something when it’s convenient to them rather than rushing them into completing it. So, you don’t have to worry about people perceiving it as rude when writing emails.
Here’s an example of how you might include it in a business email:
Please let me know at your earliest convenience when you can come to the event.
- It’s polite and respectful.
- It works well in business emails when asking for someone to complete a task.
- It’s impersonal.
- It will not work well if you want to convey a more casual tone.
“At your earliest convenience” is a fantastic phrase in formal contexts. However, mixing things up is always good when writing business emails.
So, keep reading to learn more about what to say instead of “at your earliest convenience.” We’ve explained more about them and how to use them in different situations.
What to Say Instead of “At Your Earliest Convenience”
- As soon as possible
- As soon as you can
- When you have the time
- When you get a moment
- When you get a chance
- When you’re not too busy
- Please get back to me
- When you receive this email
1. As Soon as Possible
Keeping things simple always tends to help when writing formal emails. “As soon as possible” is a great example of what to say instead of “at your earliest convenience.” It allows you to ask politely for them to do something for you.
It’s a very respectful and polite phrase. We highly recommend using it when emailing employees. It shows you want them to respond as soon as they can to let you know how things are going.
Here is an email example to help you understand it better:
I need you to get on top of this. Please respond as soon as possible to let me know when you start the project.
All the best,
2. As Soon as You Can
You can use this phrase if you want a slightly more conversational alternative that still works in polite cases. “As soon as you can” is a great alternative that lets the recipient decide when they “can” work on something for you.
“As soon as you can” is more casual than “as soon as possible.” It leaves the final decision up to the recipient, which is why it works better when emailing colleagues. It shows you’re on the same level as them and don’t want to boss them around.
This sample email will also help you with it:
Please contact me as soon as you can. I think we need to discuss a few things before moving forward.
All the best,
3. When You Have the Time
It’s hard to know someone’s schedule all the time at work. So, you should respect that some people are busy doing other things. That’s why we like to use “when you have the time” to show that we respect someone’s busy schedule.
You should use it when emailing employees. It shows that you appreciate they might have other things to get on with, but you need their help with something as quickly as possible.
This email example will also help you:
When you have time, please call me. We need to discuss some issues that Sarah has raised.
All the best,
4. When You Get a Moment
“When you get a moment” is another way to say “at your earliest convenience.” It’s a great option because it accounts for someone’s busy schedule.
Instead of ordering someone to do something for you immediately, you can allow them to take their time with this. “When you get a moment” shows that you appreciate someone who might be busy, but you want them to work on something as soon as they get a free moment.
This email example will show you how to use it:
When you get a moment, please sign and return the attached file. It’s very important for the company.
5. When You Get a Chance
Another great option that doesn’t rush the recipient is “when you get a chance.” It shows you’d appreciate them getting to work on something, but you also accept that they might need to take some time before doing so.
For instance, you might be asking an employee to help you with a task. However, you might have already set a few tasks for the employee, and you’d like them to get through those before starting anything new.
You may also refer to this sample email:
When you get a chance, please remit payment to their account. They have canceled the deal.
All the best,
6. When You’re Not Too Busy
We recommend using something like “when you’re not too busy” when emailing colleagues. It’s a great phrase if you’ve already got a good connection with the recipient.
It shows you are not bossy and don’t want to upset the person reading the email. After all, you’re allowing them to free up some time in the work schedule before asking them to complete a task for you.
Here is an email sample if you’re still not sure:
Please do the needful when you’re not too busy. We need people to be working on this project ASAP.
Did you know that abbreviations are also acceptable in business emails? “ASAP” is the abbreviation of “as soon as possible.” You’ll see people using it all the time when they want to save time writing emails to employees.
Luckily, most people already know what “ASAP” means. You should only use abbreviations like this when you’re certain the recipient knows it means “as soon as possible.” Every native speaker knows what “ASAP” means, so you shouldn’t have difficulty if you’re emailing them.
Here is an example to show you how to use it:
Please get on this ASAP. I don’t know how much longer they’ll let me sit on this.
8. Please Get Back to Me
It might be worth using “please get back to me” when you’d like an update on a situation. It encourages the recipient to respond quickly, even if they do not have anything new to share with you yet.
For instance, you might say “please get back to me” when someone has provided an update on a current situation. It shows you’re interested in learning more about the situation whenever something new unfolds.
Naturally, it’s a little less formal than some other options. It’s still very polite, but you might want to use it when emailing colleagues that are on the same level as you.
You can refer to this example to help as well:
Please get back to me when you know more about this situation. We don’t have much time to waste.
9. When You Receive This Email
If you’re desperate for someone to do something for you, you should say “when you receive this email.” Then, it’s clear that you have an urgent task for someone to complete.
The implication is that someone should do what you’ve told them to as soon as they finish reading your email.
Of course, to get away with something like this, you need to be in a managerial position. You can always email employees with a more demanding phrase like this one.
This email example should also help you:
Please respond when you receive this email. I need to ensure we’re all in agreement.
All the best,