You need a task to be carried out as quickly as possible, but you’re unsure how to politely ask for something urgent.
This article is here to help!
Below, we’ll show you how to say as soon as possible politely using 10 unique alternative phrases.
Is It Correct to Say “As Soon As Possible”?
The phrase as soon as possible is perfectly correct. Therefore, you can use this phrase to let the recipient of your email know that a request you are making is urgent.
Moreover, it is suitable to use the phrase as soon as possible in a professional context, as its level of formality is appropriate, whatever the size or nature of your organization.
Below, we’ve drafted two email samples illustrating how you can use this phrase in practice:
Dear Miss Moayed,
Thank you for your email.
We will get back to you as soon as possible.
When giving directions to your colleagues in a busy office setting, you can use the short form variation of the phrase as soon as possible to save time.
ASAP is a more informal variation of the phrase that is only appropriate for an email to an equal.
Patrick has arrived, so I need that report on my desk ASAP.
Although as soon as possible is a correct phrase used frequently in professional settings, it can come across as overly harsh or impatient at times.
Therefore, it may not be the best option for an email to a client or superior.
Moreover, this phrase is very standardized and may start to feel worn out with overuse.
Therefore, you can use one or more of the synonyms from our list to sound more polite and keep your professional correspondence diverse.
10 Alternative Ways to Say “As Soon As Possible”
Below, you’ll find 10 other ways to say as soon as possible more politely at work:
- At your earliest convenience
- As soon as you are able
- As soon as you get the chance
- Please make this your top priority
- Please expedite
- Time is of the essence
- By [date and time]
1. At Your Earliest Convenience
At your earliest convenience is a polite way to say as soon as possible when you are requesting certain actions from a client or customer.
This phrase makes clear that your request is somewhat urgent, and you would like the recipient to prioritize it.
However, this alternative comes across as far less pushy than as soon as possible, making it a safer option for a formal email to a client.
Have a look at how we’ve used this phrase in an email example:
Dear Ms. Dominczyk,
We have finalized the draft contract for your property disposal below.
Please return a signed copy at your earliest convenience.
2. As Soon as You Are Able
You can use the phrase as soon as you are able to encourage a prompt response from a colleague.
Essentially, this phrase implies that your task is urgent enough that you want the receiver to get on it quickly.
However, it also acknowledges that they may have some more urgent things to get done throughout their day. Therefore, they should only prioritize your task when they are able to do so.
This phrase is suitably formal and tonally neutral enough to use when you’re speaking to a coworker you aren’t particularly close to.
Please provide an updated list of our current accounts as soon as you are able.
If you want to ask an employee to carry out a task urgently using a professional tone, you can ask them to do it promptly.
The word promptly is essentially a formal synonym for “quickly.”
Therefore, this alternative is a good choice if you are a senior member of your organization and want to sound authoritative in your message.
Check out the sample email below to see what we mean:
I need you to redraft this memorandum promptly for Miss Cole.
4. As Soon as You Get the Chance
If your request is not extremely urgent, but you would still prefer that it be addressed quickly, you can use the phrase as soon as you get the chance instead of as soon as possible.
This alternative is slightly more casual than some of the others on our list.
Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend using this one in a formal email to a client or superior.
However, if you have a friendly dynamic with your coworkers, you can generally do away with the formal phrasing in your inter-office emails.
Therefore, let’s see how you can use this phrase in an email to a colleague:
Please have a look at this offer as soon as you get the chance.
I would greatly appreciate some advice on how best to respond.
All the best,
5. Please Make This Your Top Priority
When sending an urgent email to an employee or staff member, you can make the importance of your instruction clear with the phrase please make this your top priority.
When issuing instructions to your employees, it is essential to be as clear and comprehensible as possible.
Therefore, the main benefit of this alternative is that it allows no room for misinterpretation.
It very clearly states that the receiver should set aside anything else they are doing and prioritize your task.
I have provided the contact details of a client that I need you to reach out to today.
Please make this your top priority.
6. Please Expedite
To “expedite” means to make an action or process occur more quickly.
Therefore, you can use the phrase please expedite as a synonym for as soon as possible in certain circumstances at work.
For instance, you can use this phrase in a text or email to a coworker when you believe it is important to speed up a certain project for business reasons.
This phrase uses very clear and straightforward wording and is suitably professional for an email to a colleague you don’t know very well.
Therefore, let’s see this phrase in an email sample:
Please expedite Mr. Snook’s trust formation, as I have received word from his representatives that his health has worsened.
If you say that you would like something done immediately, the recipient will know that they must prioritize your task over any others.
Therefore, this alternative is a tad more demanding than as soon as possible.
We wouldn’t recommend using this phrase in an email to a client or superior, as the instructive tone is a touch too risky in these circumstances.
However, you can use this phrase if you are issuing instructions to a trainee or junior member of your organization.
Have a look at the email example below:
I have provided a security code for you to enter our databases.
You will need to enter it immediately, as it expires within minutes.
8. Time Is of the Essence
In contract law, the phrase time is of the essence essentially means that a certain obligation must be carried out within the time agreed upon to avoid a breach of contract.
In normal English, this phrase can simply mean that a person should act quickly to receive some benefit.
Therefore, you could use this phrase in more formal contractual negotiations at work.
However, this is also a good phrase to include in a promotional email to your customers.
For instance, you could use it if your business is running a certain promotion that only lasts for a limited time.
To see what we mean, check out the following email sample:
Dear Valued Customer,
Time is of the essence!
Make three orders from any of our stores before the end of June to receive a luxury item free of charge.
The [Business Name] Team
If a request you are making to an employee is urgent, it makes sense to simply state this outright.
Therefore, you can show the importance of your instruction by including the phrase urgently.
This will let the recipient know that they must react quickly and prioritize your task.
I need the contact details of Mr. Morgan’s firm urgently.
10. By [Date and Time]
If you are giving a task to a trainee or new recruit at the office, it is essential to avoid any vagueness in your emails.
Therefore, instead of instructing that they carry out a task as soon as possible, you can give them a clear deadline with the phrase by [date and time].
This phrase comes across clearly and professionally, which is ideal when you’re addressing someone junior to you.
To see this alternative in action, check out the email example below:
I will need you to draft a spreadsheet of this data by noon tomorrow.