Always Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You Need

Don’t Underestimate the Time Needed to Complete Your Tasks

Give Yourself More TimeAre you guilty of not allowing enough time for even life’s simple tasks?

You end up rushing because you didn’t allow enough time for getting ready, traveling to obligations, and finishing last-minute work.

Not allowing enough time is a sure recipe for stress, disorganization, and wasted time.

Being Unrealistic About Your Time

You use phrases like, “It will only take me a minute” and “Give me just a second.

Yet, very few tasks actually take “a minute.” And you probably need more than “one second” to get yourself ready.

While you might say that these statements aren’t meant to be accurate, they do reflect our habit of being unreleased about out time. Too often we underestimate the time that tasks will take.

A simple solution for bad time estimates is to always allow extra time for tasks. Beyond what you think it will take, provide yourself a buffer so you will have time to complete the work.

Here are just a few things you should allow extra time for:

  • First Time TasksFirst time tasks always take longer than you think. You don’t know what will happen, and the unexpected usually does happen.
  • Going to Appointments – Whether it is a meeting down the hall, or an appointment across town, always allow for traffic and delays. Rushing isn’t fun or safe. Getting there a few minutes early gives you time to locate where you need to be and have time to spare.
  • Getting Ready for Your Day – Always rushing out the door? Try giving yourself an extra 15 minute headstart on your day. Either get up earlier, or eliminate some of the unneeded items of your morning routine. You’ll be out the door on time and with less stress.
  • Packing – Last minute packing results in forgotten items and friction. What did you forget on your last trip? Always allow more time to pack that you think you will need. Packing at the last-minute doesn’t allow for laundry or running to the store for missing toiletries.
  • Creative Work – Doing creative and coming up with new ideas requires time. You can’t rush  brainstorming. While there are ways to increase your creative productivity, you still must invest the time.
  • Traveling – Driving, no matter how short or how long, always requires more time than you estimate. Even with GPS, we still don’t allow enough time. Don’t be in a rush on the road. Not only does it not accomplish much, but it puts you and others at risk.

Give Yourself More Time

Avoid the self-inflicted stress and life friction of not giving yourself enough time.

That “one minute” task is likely to require fifteen or more.

Make sure you schedule more time than you think you will need even for simple tasks.

Question: What tasks do you need to allow yourself more time to complete in your day? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

 

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Hey Craig, I’m sure you’ve heard of Parkinson’s Law before. It states:

    “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

    So where do you draw the line here? Do you give yourself more time for all tasks? Or do you also cut down on your time for other tasks?

    • You work with a good coach who can help you identify if you are under estimating your time or spending too much time on any given task! 😀

      There is a careful balance between the two and it does take knowing yourself well enough to know if you are wasting time or working on perfection and that’s why tasks are taking you longer to complete or if you are truly underestimating the actual amount of time it would be reasonable to complete a task.

      • Yeah, a coach is always a good idea!

        I guess it also depends on whether you’re more of a perfectionist or more of the opposite. Giving a person with perfectionistic tendencies more time is rarely a good idea… I speak from my own experience lol

  • Wayne McDougall

    “…our habit of being unreleased about out time.”

    ‘Unreleased’ should be ‘unrealistic’