I realize I have a bad habit I want to break that causes unnecessary stress in my life almost every single day.

The habit?

Biting off more than I can chew for a day.

I thought I was a good planner. But now I’m not sure.

I may in fact be horrible at planning because almost none of my days go according to plan.

I realize part of that is just life. You can’t plan for all the unexpected things a day may bring. So a plan must not be too rigid.

But that’s not what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about the fact most my days don’t line up with the plan I make the day before for one simple reason: I underestimate how long each task requires.

I think if I only schedule 1 hour to write a section of a sales page I will indeed get it done in 60 minutes. I think I’m being smart by taking advantage of “Parkinson’s Law” which states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

And I still believe there’s some truth to it. But like most things there’s another side of the coin, right? I mean just because you allocate 15-minutes to write a 2,000-word sales letter doesn’t mean you’ll get it done in 15 minutes.

So I now realize it’s foolish to only consider Parkinson’s Law when making a schedule. I must hold the reality of that law in tension with, well, reality.

Do you do the same? Do you constantly cram your day with more things you have time available? If you do then you’re probably creating more stress for yourself than you need to. I know I am.

So here’s what we can do about it.

Overestimate how long you think your tasks will take you.

So if you think it’ll take you 60 minutes to do something then give yourself 90 minutes. If you think it’ll take you 2 hours then give yourself 3.

Just get in the habit of being a little more conservative with your time and not assuming you’re going to be “in the zone” 24/7 and able to operate at peak performance all the time.

I’m implementing this tomorrow. I’ve limited my daily goals to just 2 simple things. We’ll see how that goes.