Three Longs & Three Shorts

Be More Realistic About the Time You Have

Author: Sabina Nawaz
Source: Harvard Business Review ( )

There’s plenty of self-help material on productivity hacks and how to make the most of our time. Despite everything, many of us find ourselves falling short of time to complete the projects that we have committed to or eating into our leisure time to fulfil the commitment. This piece in the HBR says we should be more realistic about the time we have and hence what we commit ourselves to in the first place. Sabina Nawaz, a CEO coach, helps us with five ideas about how we can achieve this. The piece summary reads:
“It’s no surprise that many of us overload our workday, assuming we can take on many tasks in a small amount of time. Yet, at the end of the day, we’re stunned to find that work remains unfinished. Despite past evidence, our predictive engines gum up, and we’re convinced we’ll be able to achieve the extraordinary in an ordinary day. This is called “magical thinking,” and it can cause you to disappoint others, miss deadlines, feel depleted, and lose your inspiration. But you can break free of this habit. First, realize that your workload is likely not temporary. Review past projects and what took up most of your time, so you can prioritize better in the future. Second, stop believing next time will be easier, and plan more time for your work, not less. Third, think about the end product and what you can reasonably do before agreeing to a project. Fourth, help others learn autonomy, rather than taking the time to fix their mistakes yourself. Finally, don’t assume you’re indispensable. Let go of your monopoly on work and build capacity in others instead.”