5 Productivity Promises You Won’t Keep

pablo (39)Do you make promises that your time can’t keep?

Simple ones like, “I’ll only be a minute.”

Silly ones like, “Give me a second.”
Really, one second?

Or bad ones like, “I will call you back today.”
Yet, you don’t write it down or set an alarm.

You need to stop making commitments that you can’t or won’t keep.

Making False Promises About Your Time

As part of your day, you probably say many unrealistic things about your time. It is common to say things that we don’t really mean.

You may promise to do something in an unrealistic timeframe. Or deliver something before it is possible. Or get back to someone while you are still busy.

Why do you make productivity promises that you don’t keep?

Perhaps, you had good intentions but underestimated your time availability. Or maybe you didn’t really intend to follow-thru. Or you weren’t sure how long a task would take.

Whatever the case, you are creating false expectations with those around you. They will expect you will do what you said, only to be let down.

“Don’t make promises about your time that you can’t or won’t keep.”

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Your time management reputation is based on being realistic about your time, tasks, and priorities. When you aren’t, you will continue to make promises that you can’t keep.

Here are 5 Time Promises that you won’t keep:

  1. I’ll only be a minute – How many minutes? This is a common cop-out that usually leads to long periods of lack of follow-up. Better to set an appointment at a later time than have an indefinite follow-up expectation.
  2. Give me a second… – It probably took you more than a second to even make that statement. From the outset you are being unrealistic about your time. Again, try to give a truer estimate about how long until you will be available. Maybe it is 10, 20, or 30 minutes.
  3. I’ll have it to you today – Before you make a promise like this, ask yourself, “Are you really going to deliver before you go home today?” If not, then don’t make that promise.
  4. It will be done before the due date – If you don’t take deadlines seriously, then you will find yourself late with deliverables and projects.
  5. I’ll call you back later – At what time? This is another common mis-step. Of course, later comes the obligatory, “I forgot to call you.” Set a reminder or alarm to ensure that you keep promises like this. Add it to your return call list, or even your todo list if the call can be made a later date.

Don’t Make (Time) Promises You Can’t Keep

Be realistic about your time and commitments.

Don’t make silly or bad time promises that you know you can’t or won’t keep.

By setting realistic and truthful expectations with others, you’ll find yourself making less apologies, having less stress, and getting the important tasks done.

Question: What time promises do you need to stop making? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

2 thoughts on “5 Productivity Promises You Won’t Keep

  1. Hi Craig,

    I really enjoyed your article. Indeed, the prior thing to do is telling the truth to ourselves. All those excuses only damage our productivity and work life in particular.

    It’s like an opposite thing to procrastination, “Oh, I’ll do it right in a minute and oops… collapse. In this case, the phrase of Scarlett O’Hara “I will think about it tomorrow” would be appropriate.


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