Have you ever had someone ask you to do something for them, followed by them saying: “It’ll just take one minute!”.
How often did that minute turn into an hour?
It has happened to me more times than I care to count. Accurately estimating this is notoriously difficult in the first place, and if someone else does it for you, it’s likely an underestimation because they want to make it easier for you to comply.
After losing a lot of time by falling for these promises, I made a commitment to own my time by taking charge of time estimates for tasks.
Here are 4 reasons you should take charge of your time as well:
- Personal accountability: When you take ownership of how long a task will take, you hold yourself accountable for its completion. You are less likely to make excuses or blame others if things don’t go as planned.
- Time management: When you estimate how long a task will take, you are better able to manage your time and prioritize your work accordingly. You can schedule other tasks around it, and ensure that you have enough time to complete everything without feeling rushed.
- Realistic expectations: By setting your own expectations for how long a task will take, you can ensure that they are realistic and achievable. This can help you avoid the stress and frustration that comes with feeling like you’re constantly falling behind or not meeting deadlines.
- Better communication: If someone else pressures you to complete a task in a certain amount of time, it can create tension and conflict. By taking ownership of your own timeline, you can communicate your needs and limitations more clearly and effectively.
Actionable advice for this week: push back when someone dictates a time estimate for a task.
Don’t succumb to the pressure if you’re presented with an unrealistic timeline. Push back & give them (and yourself) a realistic timeline.