Finding time requires effective planning. Are you always playing catch-up with yourself? If so, it’s time to develop a better system for allocating time.
Enter the X2 Rule. Utilizing this rule and the accompanying 5 powerful tips will help you prepare schedules that are far more effective. As a result, your confidence in planning and coordinating projects will be enhanced.
The X 2 Rule – Always plan for things taking more time than you think. Estimate the time that you anticipate a project or task will take and double that time!
The X2 Rule effectively counters a common misconception – that you can complete a project in far less time than is really needed. Let’s explore this distortion.
5 Reasons You May Deny Yourself the Time You Truly Need:
- You may envision yourself working more quickly than is realistic.
- Your plans may require the cooperation of others who struggle with their own schedules and demands.
- You may tend to envision the end point without clearly walking through the steps required to accomplish your goals
- You may try to squeeze as much as possible into your schedule, to accommodate your wishes and everyone else’s wishes, too.
- Other projects of yours, also running behind schedule, compete for the time you had planned to use.
5 Powerful Tips for Effective Scheduling of Your Time:
- Automatically double the time you expect a project to take, no matter what your imagination tells you! If you complete it before it’s due, don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of other activities to fit in.
- Build in extra time for those who may need to assist you, as well. That way, you will be easier to work with and in a better position to negotiate for the cooperation you seek. Whenever possible, alert others in advance to your needs. Work together to coordinate schedules, and include weekly check-ins. Reduced urgency leads to fewer mistakes.
- Envision the end point and then work backwards. You are far more likely to anticipate each step, and accurately predict the time needed, when you use this approach. Using a calendar, write in the completion of the project on the selected deadline. Work backwards from there, logging in the participation of anyone who is involved in the project and allocating sufficient turnaround time for them, as well.
- When faced with a time conflict between two commitments, take a deep breath and make a choice. Rather than short-change either project, re-assign one of them a different time or a different priority. If someone demands both within a limited time frame, explain it may not be possible. Request that they state their preference as to which comes first.
- If you can never complete all your projects within a given time frame, prioritize their importance. Start with the most important item and work down, as your time allows. If being the master of your time and your life is important to you, simplify your agenda. As you regain control of your schedule, you can explore other ways to maximize the wise use of your time.
Utilizing the X2 Rule is an important way to ensure that your peace of mind is factored into the effectiveness equation. Never forget your assertive right to claim the time you need to get the job done. How can you increase your control of your time, and where will you find the guidance?
Related: Five-Column Time Estimation Template© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.