This HBR article makes a case that many of us are unrealistic and over-optimistic when allocating the time a particular task is likely to take.


Sabina Nawaz, a management consultant, makes the following points regarding the way most of us manage our time at work:

  • Telling fanciful stories about how hard we work and how much we produce.
  • Convincing ourselves that having overambitious plans and targets motivates us to work harder to meet those goals.
  • Engaging in magical thinking, believing that even without planning, time will be found, we will get the work done.
  • Believing that our current workload is just temporary.
  • Lulling ourselves into a false sense of security, believing that the next task will be easier.
  • Rushing work to get it finished on time.
  • Doing other people’s work for them rather than providing people with guidelines that you expect them to follow.
  • Believing that we are indispensable at work and without us, the work just will not get done.

Consider how you manage your time at work and whether your time management could be improved.