Donna's Blog

Are you overspending on your time budget?

Are you overspending on your time budget?

 

Most of us are familiar with the idea of budgeting, and having to work towards a budget, after all, this is one of the key tasks of most managers when it comes to delivering on their projects.

 

Generally, our job is to estimate how much something will cost, commit to that number, and then work towards achieving it.

 

How good are at doing that with time? I must confess that I struggle with this one a little. I always underestimate how long it will take to get somewhere, and then find myself nervous about being late.

When it comes to estimating how long it will take to complete a task, I reckon we frequently under estimate. In modern workplaces, there are so many distractions that something we estimate could take 2 hours to complete, ends up taking TWICE as long.

 

The best results I have found for time estimations and accuracy, has been since I introduced the Pomodoro Method (Francesco Cirillo). In a nutshell, you focus for 25 mins on a project, and then rest or 'distract' for 5 minutes, before heading down for another 25 mins if necessary. You estimate how many 25 minute periods you need, and then go for it.

 

This has also allowed me to manage my distractions. In the 5 min rest periods, I get up, stretch, have a casual conversation, glance at my email to see if anything urgent has come up, grab a cup of tea and then go back down for a further 25 mins.

 

Since using this technique, Estimations have become easier - task I estimate will take 2 hours, are done in 2 hours (or less).

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