How many times do you find yourself thinking, “There isn’t enough time in the day”? Part of the reason we feel that way is that we underestimate how much time it takes to complete projects, which leads to unrealistic deadlines. The usual culprit is that we estimate in a vacuum without including the inevitable interruptions every day brings.
When you get ready to start a project, do your own estimate of how long it will take you. Set an alarm for that amount of time and see what happens. If you’re like most people, you’ll run out of time before you have completed the project. Now you’ve got a more realistic estimate, which will take some of the pressure off when you’re telling others when you’ll be able to get back to them.
You can also use this timer trick to keep you from wasting time online. Give yourself a set amount of time to check email and when the alarm goes off, move on. It is amazing how much more you will get done in a day when you become hyperaware of how much actual time has passed.