Patience is a virtue….but sometimes, you absolutely need a response ASAP! What can you do to “hurry up” a response from someone without being too pushy? A recent article, by Kat Boogaard for Muse, shares four ways to follow up that are polite AND effective. So for times when a friendly “just checking in” email isn’t enough, here are her first two tips:

1.) Resist the Urge to Apologize

You may feel the need to start with an apology (I’m sorry for emailing you again, I don’t mean to be a bother, etc.) but there’s no need. If you are waiting for a response that you are owed, then there’s no reason to be sorry about reaching out. “You deserve a reply in order to continue moving forward with your own work—and that’s not something you need to be sorry for,” Boogaard explains. “You’ve done nothing wrong.” So start the communique on the right note by nixing apologies.

2.) Make it easy

Likely, you’ve reached out to the person once (twice? three times?) already. And, it’s also likely the previous communication(s) included relevant information, such as what you need, why you need it, etc. So now, use this email or phone call to just get down to the nitty gritty. While you may need to include some basic information, there’s no need to go overboard with words and explanations. “Use short sentences and paragraphs, and even use bullet points if it makes your message easier to skim,” she writes. “Want bonus points? Include a deadline for when you need a response—in bold, if you’re feeling particularly brave. The easier your message is to read and reply to, the more likely you’ll be to actually get what you need.”

Check out Boogaard’s entire article for all of the tips. Her suggestions can help you tactfully, yet effectively, get a response when one is really needed.