I find that I often get stuck thinking about time.
Since I'm bad at perceiving it, I'm always worried about the consequences of it. Like it's always there waiting to ruin my day.
This can make difficult or boring tasks seem daunting. My brain knows it won't be fun, and my time estimator goes to the extreme end.
- It will probably take like 4 hours to finish that paper.
- Clean out the closet? 8 hours.
- Wash the dishes? 12 hours.
The less I want to do something, the more time my brain seems to mentally assign it.
So now it sounds like a waste of energy and time!
Not only will I hate doing it, I will hate doing it for the entire weekend.
Often once you've done the task, you realize you've spent so much energy avoiding the task, when it actually only took 10-20 minutes.
One way to try to prevent this happening again is to create a post-mortem report when you've completed one of these. Or if you want something less macabre, you can call it a performance metric review.
(The second one doesn't really make sense, but now they both have PMR as an acronym!)
The idea of a PMR is to compare what you thought it was going to take with what it actually took.
Don't beat yourself up for a bad estimate—but do learn from it!
Refer to this log of PMRs next time you're avoiding a daunting task. This can help you get a more accurate picture of the time required, and written with your own words.
Jesse J. Anderson
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