“I’ll be there in just a minute.”
So, you say.
Yet, several hours later, you end up apologizing, “Sorry, I got stuck finishing something up.”
Are you over promising time that you can’t deliver?
Underestimating and Over Promising
We don’t intend to mislead or misrepresent, yet we know deep down that we all tell little white time management lies.
Here are a few examples:
- “I’ll be right there.”
- “It will just take me a minute.”
- “I’ll get back to you today.”
- “I’m leaving the office in 5 minutes.”
- “Give me just a second.”
- “This task will be done in just a few.”
There is no way we will deliver on many of these statements.
“We tend to underestimate the time we need, and over promise the time we have.” (Tweet this Quote)
We think it will take just a few minutes.
And that we can have it done in just a second.
Both of those sentiments are overly optimistic.
Here Are 7 Ways You Are Over Promising Your Time:
- Underestimating the Time to Complete a Task – “Give me just a second” is far from the truth. Tasks end up taking much longer than we expect, especially when performing them for the first time.
- Back-to-back Meetings – When you schedule back-to-back meetings, you are almost guaranteeing that you will be late to your subsequent appointments. Stack a few of these together and by mid-afternoon you’ll find yourself almost an hour late to your next meeting.
- Deadlines Not Taken Seriously – Why do you agree to deadlines that you don’t intend to hit? Deadlines should always be taken seriously. Otherwise, you end up letting both sides down.
- Forgetting What You Promised to Deliver – “I’ll call you back today.” But, then your time gets away from you. The next day, you apologetically say that you ran out of time. The truth is that in the rush of your activities you forgot what you promised. Write even those small tasks down so that you remember them.
- Double or Triple Booking – Does your appointment calendar looks like a Tetris game board? Worse than back-to-back meetings, you are booking yourself to be in two or three places at the same time. I see this often with corporate managers. However, this practice quickly leads to broken time promises and let down partners.
- Making Promises You Can’t Keep – Stop saying what you can’t or don’t intend to do. Instead of making empty promises that you will “catch up with someone later,” be honest and say that you currently don’t have any time to give.
- Giving Time When You Don’t Have Any – Someone asks, “Can I have a minute?” You agree even though you are in the middle of something or supposed to be somewhere. You can’t give them your full attention because it is somewhere else. It is better to reschedule when you can be fully present.
Under Promise Your Time
Before you make time promises that you can’t keep, stop and reconsider.
Today, try under promising your time.
Those you work with will appreciate the honesty, and you can stop worrying about under delivering.
Question: Where are you over promising your time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.