Many of my clients share with me that they underestimate the amount of time a task will take to complete.  As a result, they are “off-schedule” by noon.

I use the Rule of 3 and Rule of 1.5 Techniques when scheduling.

This helps to ensure I have enough time to complete each task.  The next time you’re faced with a busy day full of tasks and projects, try these simple steps.

  • First, estimate the amount of time you think each task will take to complete.
  • Write this estimation down.
  • Next, multiple your estimated time by either 1.5 or 3.  Use 1.5 if you have completed this task before.  Multiply by 3 if you have never completed this type of task.
  • Use this new number as your time estimation when you schedule the task in your calendar.
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For example, your goal is to organize your office.  The smallest task you identified is to clear off the top of your desk.

You estimate that it will take 30 minutes to complete this task.  Since you have done this before, multiply 30 minutes by 1.5 for your new time estimation of 45 minutes.  Now, if you run into any challenges, you have given yourself a buffer. (Here are some more ideas for managing your time.)

For new tasks, we don’t know what we don’t know.

For this reason, I recommend multiplying by 3.  Let’s say you want to update your website. The first, smallest task you’ve identified is to review your home page and you assume it would take about half an hour.

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By allowing yourself 90 minutes (The Rule of 3), you have plenty of buffer time to allow for creative thinking and research.

If you finish before the 90 minutes is up, take a breathing break!  (For the importance of breathing – check out my biggest time management “ah-ha” – the importance of white space.)

Take a look at your list now – could you use some support? With a little coaching, you can easily achieve the perfect balance between your business and personal lives. You can develop a framework and a system that allows you to put first things first -and live a life of purpose.

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