The Three Traps

When I first started taking getting in control of my time and energy seriously, I would wildly underestimate how long each task would take. I once estimated I could write a brand-new workshop from scratch, with slides and a workbook in under 4 hours. Ha!

You may question my strategy. Why bother predicting how long things will take in the first place?

If we don’t, we can fall foul to three different traps.


If we don’t specify how long something will take, we may end up going through iterative cycles of improvement to perfect something that was more than acceptable 5 hours ago.


I had a client who was really struggling to find time in her calendar for her own professional development. When I coached her, she said it usually took her 3.5 hours to provide comments on her master’s students thesis. Then I asked the simple question – how long do you want to spend on this? The response, “no more than 1.5 hours.”


If we are not clear on how long things will take, we can quickly get overwhelmed with the volume of tasks on our to do list.

Having that upper limit prediction of the amount of time we are willing to spend on something, makes tasks easier to schedule into time blocks. Reflecting and reviewing regular tasks, helps us get even more effective at this process.

Keep dominating your time and energy,


PS Listen to my top 10 ‘Women in STEM Career & Confidence’ podcast recorded live 🎙️iTunes, 🎙️Spotify, 🎙️Amazon Music, 🎙️Google Podcasts and 🎙️The EdUp Experience 🎙️ Stitcher