I’m terrible as estimating time

Photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash

When it comes to time, I’m overly optimistic. I never seem to learn. I can arrive in 10 mins! The traffic will clear up I’m sure! This deal will be signed in 2 weeks! Nope. Never does. Try 4-6 weeks instead.

What I realised, though was that I’m not always bad at estimating all time. I’m bad at estimating time that involves another party. I can devote 15 minutes of reading time every night, I can work out 60 minutes a day and I can dedicate 2 hours a week writing. All these are things that I can control.

The things I can’t control, are the things that require outside help. I can’t control how people drive their cars, and I can’t control how quickly papers can be moved around an office for the right signatures.

What I’ve learned is that I need to compensate when thinking about other people and how they use their time (I can’t for instance get them to log out of Instagram and get to work). What I can do is put in a reasonable buffer (and usually add a bit more on top of that as well).

I can only control what I can control. I just have to live with what I can’t (and give a little nudge every now and then).

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 361,652+ people.

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