Words to Avoid

Note to self:

When telling people when something gets done, there’s some words that need to be avoided, words such as: “soon” or “asap”.

These words carry close to no meaning. What “soon” means. This year? Next month? Today? In 2 hours?

Same thing with the following: “it’s not a big deal” or “it’s not much work” or “it can be done fast”.

These also have no meaning. Is “fast” or “not big deal” equal to 2 week? 3 Days? 1 month? 2 hours?

Instead of saying “soon” say “today” or “tomorrow before 4 pm”.

Instead of saying “not much work” say “it takes 2 days”.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. When someone tells me “That’s easy, should be quick to do” it gets close to an insult – despite being plain wrong in almost all cases. He tells me that I’m too dumb, and that the task is too small for him to do, all sorts of connotations like this. So don’t tell anyone that something is easy, or should be quick to implement. It insults and probably is wrong anyway.

  2. Yeh, well now you stole my idea for the next blog post: “And when they say 2 days, multiply it by 3.14”.

  3. Usually when specifying time I try to use hours so then I can keep track of whether or not my estimates were right. This helps get away from the “ASAP” or “Soon” dilemma.

  4. Don’t say “it takes 2 days.”

    Always multiply the time you think it will take by 3, so in that case “6 days”

    Nearly anything takes 3 times as long to complete as you think it will.

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