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Estimating Time - Be Honest!

Time Management Guide Part 13

We have talked about time wasters and time killers; we have talked about getting organized and we have talked about prioritizing.

But one vital point that we yet to talk about is how much time each one of us needs to take for our various activities - estimating time.

We are truthful people aren’t we? We wouldn’t dream of lying and telling falsehoods. But often in our daily life, when it comes to matters of time in particular, we do say things without thinking.

How many times have we made statements like:

  • “I’ll be with you in a minute”

  • “I need only a moment to get dressed”

  • “Just give me two minutes, all I have to do is take a shower and get dressed.”

  • “I’m on my way; I’ll be there I a couple of minutes.”

Do these words sound familiar? We all say them and we never do what we promise. That is not because we are habitual liars. It’s simply because we do not realize the actual time that we take for the activities that we do.

For instance, how long do you need to have a shower? I do not mean the exact time down to the microsecond. I just want a general idea. Maybe it’s 5 minutes, maybe 10.

But you should understand that different people need and take different times to take a shower. The word itself is misleading.

When you say “I need a shower,” what exactly are you talking about? If you mean to just step under the shower with your clothes off, turn on the shower, soak yourself thoroughly and dry yourself after turning off the shower then you are right.

But if you are talking about shampooing and conditioning your hair, using soap and body shampoo on your body, then it is a different story. This is going to take you nearly half an hour and is not a ‘shower’ but an elaborate bath.

So you should be well aware of what you are talking about and mention the time accordingly. Just like the shower, you should have a good estimate of the time that you need for various activities.

We will next see how well you can estimate the amount of time you require for general day-to-day activities.


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