Everything takes longer than you think, so plan accordingly

I was on the phone with my bank recently. I thought it would take 10 or 15 minutes... It took 51 minutes. 

Almost an hour.

Whether you are troubleshooting a technical issue, hiring to grow your team, or planning a party…

Everything takes longer than you think.

Why does this matter? Because every day, we have to estimate how long things will take. 

If you get better at estimating timing, you’ll be less stressed in all areas of life.

If you’re doing something for the first time, give yourself more time to figure it out.

Things will inevitably pop up. And by “things,” I mean anything and everything you could imagine to go wrong.

This happened to me last month. I was setting up an email automation using Zapier to connect two apps. I thought, “This is going to be easy. I have the documentation so it should take 30 minutes to do.”

It ended up taking 7 hours over two days.

I realized the documentation didn’t cover the use case I needed when I was fifteen minutes in. From there, it took multiple rounds of Google search, using live chat, and waiting for email responses from customer support before it finally worked.

Most of the stress could have been avoided if I reminded myself that things take longer than you think, especially when you’re doing something new.

Build in buffers.

Build in time to get into flow.

Build in time to recuperate.

Build in time to troubleshoot.

When you adjust your own expectations about how long it takes to complete a task, you can make more realistic plans.