photo courtesy @tangojuliette

Estimating Time Accurately

How long will it take to get out of this mess? When will I stop this bad habit?  How many months will it take me to reach my goal weight?

A professional organizer, psychologist, and dietician will know the answers to these questions.

Estimating time accurately is a skill that begins with board games as a child. It improves or weakens based on how you practice it.  What activities do you do that allow you to estimate the time needed to finish them?  The more you do, the wiser you become at estimating time.

The ability to make accurate estimates is closely tied to the ability to understand and solve problems (resource). Knowing approximates for things we do prepares us for the future. When the ability to plan is poor, confidence weakens because targets or goals are repeatedly missed.

Illusions stand in our way.  They exaggerate the effect of changed circumstances on our future well-being. Illusions, or the suggestiveness of imagination, is risky. Intuition is different. This skill uses a different part of the brain to measure risk. Still, it is not an exact science

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.  DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Thinking Fast and Slow

Pick a role or task.  Then take baby steps to improve this skill.  Let’s say you want to become more organized.  Pick an object then count the number of times you use it in a day. To break a habit, count and track the times you do it in a day. To lose weight count the times you engage in a sabotaging action per day.   First, find out the amount of time and effort you invest in something. Then break it down into smaller divisions so you can change it one division at a time.

The mind is good at remembering stories, but not well designed for processing of time. Estimation is generally a mathematical skill, improved with use over time. The central fact of our existence is that time is the greatest finite resource, but we ignore or quickly forget that reality. It takes work, dedication, and resources to acquire the skill of estimating time accurately.