With setting goals a timeline and deadline is created. Estimating time accurately is a skill that begins with childhood activities including board games and getting ready for school. It may improve or weaken depending on the practice how frequently it’s practiced.

Skills improve with practice.

The ability to make accurate estimates is closely tied to the ability to understand and solve problems. Learning to approximate activity lengths prepares for future goal setting. Poor time estimation weakens confidence because short and long-term goals are repeatedly missed. The mind processes stories with better recall then it does with time estimation. Estimating measurements is most often a mathematical skill, which improves with practice.

Illusions often stand in the way.

Stories may offer an illusion of time that exaggerates the effect of changing circumstances on future performance. Illusions, or the suggestiveness of imagination, has risks. The skill of intuitiveness is different because it uses a different part of the brain to measure risk. Still, it in’t an exact science. “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it,” says author Daniel Kahneman of 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 productive efforts to support the goal.  Track the amount of time and effort invested in a goal activity. Break it down into smaller tasks then change it one task at a time.

Questions to Ask:
  1. Was a recent goal met on target, overestimated or underestimated in time?
  2. What activities provide time tracking for completion?
  3. What role is there continuous goal improvement? How does this role differ from a different role (i.e. work deadline vs exercise)?

Time is the greatest finite resource. This reality is often ignored or quickly forgotten. The skill of estimating time accurately may be achieved with effortful dedication and personalized resources to meet specific learning styles. Design Sensibility is a universal method we share with our coaching services. Schedule the Equip Package to improve the skill of estimating time.

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