Add 50% to your time estimate

We are terrible at predicting the future and even worse at planning out timelines for projects. Even experienced project managers fall victim to this (citation needed). People tend to underestimate how long a task will take, even when they have done it before. Daniel Kahnemann calls this the "planning fallacy".

In one study thirty-seven students were asked how long they thought it would take them to complete their senior thesis. When the students were asked to estimate how long it would take “if everything went as well as it possibly could,” their averaged estimate was 27.4 days. When they were asked how long it would take “if everything went as poorly as it possibly could,” their averaged estimate was 48.6 days. In the end the average time it actually took the students was 55.5 days.

To fight this fallacy, Book - Essentialism.. the disciplined pursuit of lessBook - Essentialism.. the disciplined pursuit of less

Metadata:

author: Greg McKeown
title: Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less
year: [[2014]]



recommends a simple rule: Just add 50% to your time estimate.

Book - How to Take Smart NotesBook - How to Take Smart Notes

Metadata:

author: Sönke Ahrens
title: How to take smart notes: one simple technique to boost writing, learning and thinking: for students, academics and nonfiction book writers
...
mentioned the same study and argued that the writing methods provided by the book could be cure for this writing block experienced by students.

Note that this fallacy does not occur when people estimate anonymously how long a task would take (dig up this study, maybe turn this fact into it's own Zettel)