In my business, there are a lot of tasks I do regularly. So you would think I could accurately assess how long they take. That is true sometimes. But for some tasks, I am consistently off. Some I imagine taking way longer and some taking way less, why is that?
And how many of you other makers do this?
Tasks I always imagine taking longer than they really do;
- Sewing on snaps
- Sewing on a doll's face
- Cleaning my studio
- Sewing Shoes
- Posting on Instagram
- Finishing and blocking a doll sweater
- Returning an email
- Cutting stuff out
- Making trim and binding
Tasks I always imagine taking less time than they really do;
- Applying doll hair
- Smocking a dress
- Preparing a doll to ship
- Listing anything on Etsy
- Photographing for Etsy
- Knitting a doll sweater
- Photographing and editing photos for a tutorial
- Writing a blog post
- Photographing period
- Editing a photo in Photoshop
On some of the tasks in the second category, they consistently take much longer than I expect, and I continually think that the next time this will go quicker. But it doesn't. I am failing to see the pattern.
One might guess that my ability to gauge time has to do with how much I like the task, but that is not it. I LOVE smocking, photographing, adding doll hair, writing and I like sewing shoes, emailing, etc... Even sewing on snaps.
When I look at the two lists, I see a definite pattern. The tasks that take longer than I imagine are tasks where there is more room for error and more room for being a perfectionist about every little detail. I tend to over-worry about details, get super fussy, redo what I imagine needs redoing and then redo again. Stop, stare, contemplate, obsess.
All of the things in the second list are conducive to these tendencies I have.
The first list, not so much. In fact most of these tasks are such second nature to me that I glide through the tasks in a bit of a happy Zen like trance, even a bit sad when the task is over. Most likely because they are a bit like yoga or running, they calm me down.
What I need to work on more than my ability to gauge time is to make this second group of tasks second nature, so they feel like the first group.