I always think we can get out the door in an hour in the morning.
I am almost always wrong.
We are usually late.
There are always 15 things I forgot about: doing the girls hair, making sure the guitars are in the car, packing me a protein shake, wiping the chocolate chip smears off my youngest, brushing the snow off the van, packing the lunches, etc.
Oh yes, and did I mention that 6 tiny people have to be dressed, have eaten breakfast, and have found their coats and shoes before we can leave?
There are always more things than I thought, more steps to leaving than I can remember, and more things than it is humanly possible to accomplish in the hour I have given myself.
I don’t know why I think it will take an hour…
I also underestimate for deadlines.
Surely the next thing I need to do will only take an hour, right?
Everything takes longer than I think it will.
This was always the way everything went until I learned how to plan my schedule in a way that actually works.
Now I am on time (mostly), and finish things in the time I’ve allotted.
How do I do it?
I decide that I will get it done in that amount of time.
When I think it will probably take an hour, it always takes more than one, because I am willing to be late and I am not going to start the car and drive away when the hour is up.
When I know that I am leaving in an hour, guess what, we leave in an hour.
It’s the difference between leaving for the park and leaving for the airport. If I have a flight to catch, you better believe that the car is leaving with enough time to make it on the plane.
When I think that the project might take me an hour to submit, it takes a lot longer than that. But when I decide that I am submitting whatever I have completed in an hour, no matter what, it takes me an hour.
I accomplish so much more operating this way.
When I “think” it will take an hour, much of the hour is spent being stressed, worrying that we might not leave on time, or that I might not finish the project on time.
Worrying wastes brain capacity.
Worry makes me be late, because I am not hyper focused and committed to the task at hand. I think I am committed, but much of my mind is preoccupied noticing all the things slowing me down. My brain is looking for things outside of itself, to use as reasons why it doesn’t have to try as hard.
I wishfully want the thing to happen, but I haven’t devoted enough brainpower to make it happen.
When I commit to completing the project in an hour, or driving away in an hour, guess what?
I do not have time to worry. I only have time to make it happen.
Deciding to do it in the time I give myself makes me feel determined. Determination drives different actions than worry, which is why I ultimately accomplish the task in the time allotted.
So I do not believe my story anymore.
Things do not take longer than I think they will.
Things take exactly how much time I give them.
If I am going to leave in an hour, we leave in an hour, with or without brushed hair and chocolate smears.
If I am going to submit the project in an hour, I submit it in an hour, with or without mistakes and imperfections.
You might think that deciding to be done in the time allotted causes me to have sloppier work, however I have found the opposite to be true.
Giving myself all the time I need caused me to focus less on the actual task, and waste time worrying, resulting in a lower quality result. My brain was looking for reasons that being late wasn’t my fault, and going into victim mode, instead of taking control and powering through a plan.
I am actually very capable of producing high quality work when I give myself a strict deadline.
It happens when I get out of my own way and stop holding myself back with overwhelm, indecision, and stress.