Under-commitment is fine!
Tushar Bohra
November 29, 2017

The key to be productive at work is to have rough goals for the day. It helps in knowing what are your going out to achieve and also to measure your progress. However, most of us have issues keeping up with the day’s goal and often end the day with spill overs and demotivated. While there might be so many reasons for this, one of the key factor is over-commitment.


On a normal work day, we all start with a sense of goals to achieve. However, as the day progresses many small and big new items trickle down into our plates. As I have said earlier, the smart one’s are those who are ready to take in more and have the capacity to do so. Here however, it is very important to maintain the separation between being able to take in more and over-committing.


Two timely finished jobs bring in much more value than 10 half finished one’s.


Everyone of us is aware of this, and yet we all at some point over-commit. But why do we do so? Its not us, but rather the Superman that we all have within. He is the one who wants to please everyone. He is the one who says I can do everything today. However, over-commitment in work and trying to be the superman, does not always comes back with the best results.


I generally follow some ground rules, which help me keep the superman within me tame-

  • Try not to jump from what you are already doing to something that just came in. Even if its a small 15 minutes job. Jumping from one task to another, breaks the flow of what we are already doing. Imagine working on something that was going to take 2 hours and a 15 minutes job comes up. Switching in between will break the current flow and both the task will cost more than 3 hours, rather than the original 2hours 15 minutes.
  • Its better to give a tentative deadline rather than just saying you’ll do it today or just that you’ll do it. Imagine you came to work with your day planned ahead, and something unexpected comes up. If the priority of the task permits, its ok to say that you will finish up your day’s task and then take up the new one, or accommodate the new items in your plan for the coming day. Giving a deadline, helps the other person too! They can plan their work accordingly and also helps us the understanding the priority of the task.


Always remember, its always better to Under-Commit and Over-Deliver, than the other way round!