The concept of “as soon as possible” is problematic. When someone asks me to, “take care of it ASAP” and I clarify, “drop everything and handle it right now?” I’m usually met with the response, “Well... no. Just sometime today. Actually, tomorrow would be fine.”

Sometimes we use phrases that imply immediacy when we really mean, “coordinated with other priorities.”

Setting a clear timeline is more useful. If you need something done by close-of-business, just say so.

And if you need something done immediately, you can say, “now.”

Maybe you like the swagger of saying A-SAP. If that’s the case, maybe “STAT” is the new, appropriate word for you (it’s from statim, meaning “immediately”).

But if you’re not running an emergency room, be careful not to overuse it.