Get Better at Estimating
You’ll also start getting better at estimating. If you’re like me, you may block out an hour for a task, and then find that it takes two. Maybe you’re doing the task inefficiently. Do some research. Find out if you can do the same thing in less time.
Other times, you’re doing the best you can. This means you’ve found a task where you habitually underestimate. Going forward, you know to expand your schedule so you can be realistic about the time you need.
You can’t do 25 hours of work in one day.
Gradually, you’ll get better at estimating. One of my Get-it-Done Groups participants watches my behavior on an hourly basis when we do our daily checkins. She helpfully pointed out that every time a task involves computers, it takes me about four times longer than planned. After I was done crying, I thanked her for this insight.
You may also discover you get to a time block and you just don’t want to do the thing. Maybe it’s your weekly “Bathe the Cat” time block. You’re tired of trips to the emergency room, so when that time block shows up, you hem and haw and make excuses.
When you identify the thing you’re not motivated to do, you have a few choices: you can force yourself to do it (which hasn’t worked so far), you can try motivational tricks like rewards, you can drop the activity from your life, you can automate it, you can delegate it, or you can use an accountabilibuddy.
In fact, you can even join a Get-It-Done Group, and have a whole community to help you get moving and keep moving.
Learn, Fix, and Continue
This full-week calendar exercise will help you find and fix your overload. You’ll find out if you’re trying to do too much (you are). You’ll find out if you have enough slack (you don't). You’ll know if you have energy recuperation time built in, and you’ll start tuning up your estimating.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to dominate the entire world in just 24 hours, but using your calendar to understand your time and time tradeoffs is a good first step.
I’m Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re a high-achiever who wants to feel as successful on the inside as people think you are on the outside, Get-it-Done groups help you start finishing what’s important, and develop the habits you need to be hyper-productive. Learn more at https://www.GetItDoneGroups.com.
Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!