at once

at once
In contracts of various kinds the phrase is construed as synonymous with "immediately" and "forthwith," where the subject-matter is the giving of notice. The use of such term does not ordinarily call for instantaneous action, but rather that notice shall be given within such time as is reasonable in view of the circumstances. Likewise, contracts or statutes requiring the performance of a particular act "at once" are usually held to mean simply within a reasonable time. An order to "ship at once" is synonymous with "as soon as possible". Myers v. Hardin, 208 Ark. 505, 186 S.W.2d 925, 928

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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