Are you good at sticking to a schedule? Lisa Hess considers her struggles with estimating the time needed to complete tasks.
I am terrible at estimating how long things take. One of the pieces of advice often offered by those who do time management well is to estimate how long a task will take, then add at least fifteen minutes. Others suggest building buffer time between tasks to aid in staying on schedule.
I don't know if I'm optimistic or dense, but no matter how I try, I cannot manage to do this successfully on a regular basis. I have my regular routines down so that I’m rarely late for obligations (like work) but, when it comes to things like getting ready to leave for (or from) a trip, I always cut things too close. I’ve considered the possibility that this happens only when it's something I don't want to do (like pack or leave for home after a weekend away), but my internal monologue is always the same.
It won't take that long.
Ha. Famous last words. It always takes longer than I think it will.
I'd like to say I'll do better -- or, better yet, actually do better -- and I probably will on a limited basis. The real problem, I suspect, lies in transitions. When I'm happily ensconced in an activity, it's easy to convince myself that the thing I have to next won't take as long as I think it will because I don't want to stop doing the thing I'm already doing.
In the end, I'm on time for most things that matter and I'm good at cramming a lot of tasks into a day when I put my mind to it but, if the option for flex-time exists, I'll take it every time.
How about you? Are you good at sticking to a schedule, or are you hoping someone will create a planner with dotted lines to accommodate your style of merging one activity into the next?
Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess
Image: Pixabay (2017)
About the Author
Lisa Lawmaster Hess is a transplanted Jersey girl who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Lisa’s latest book is the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.