We're terrible at predicting time, so do these things instead - Deepstash

# We're terrible at predicting time, so do these things instead

Curated from: fastcompany.com

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## The planning fallacy

Is our tendency to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task. Estimation mistakes can usually be attributed to 2 key factors:

• Failing to consider how long it’s taken us to complete similar tasks in the past.
• Assuming that we won’t run into any complications that will cause delays.

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## Use historical data

Start by asking: How long do such projects usually last?

If you’re coding a new feature for your company’s app, look at how long it took your team to build and release a similar feature in the past. If you’re writing a 4,000-word blog-post, review your data showing how many hours/days it took you to write a similar piece previously. Then, base your estimates off of that data.

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## Search outsiders' perspectives

While we tend to be optimistic about our own abilities to complete tasks quickly, we’re much more pragmatic when it comes to figuring out how long it will take someone else to complete a task.

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## Leave space for the unknown

When estimating any task or project, you have to take all of these things into account: There are things you know will happen, things you know could happen, and things you never once considered might happen.

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## The three-point estimation

It forces you to confront your possible optimism by asking you to identify 3 different pieces of data:

1. A best-case scenario estimate
2. A worst-case scenario estimate
3. A most likely scenario estimate

Once you have your 3 numbers, calculate the average of the 3 points of data.

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## Plan during the low point of your day

And when your good mood is at its lowest point in the day. In that case, you may be feeling less optimistic, which could help you create more realistic estimates

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