I have discovered a little trick about planning. In order to predict what I hope to accomplish in the future, I call on my past as a guide. If I need to estimate how long an assignment might take, I look back into my past and think honestly about how long comparable assignments took.
If I plan to finish a job by November 3, I look back to October 4 to conjure up all of the road blocks and challenges I faced during the past two weeks. What have I actually accomplished during this particular time period? What kind of unsuspected moments came my way? How did I get things done in the middle of chaos or was I stymied by my busyness?
If I am trying to set a deadline, I look backwards first. My past will help me to determine how long any future assignment will take. If I think I can get something done in two weeks, I look back at the prior two weeks and feel the activity level I experienced and question whether or not I can pull off what I hope to accomplish.
Take time to consider the past before you make big plans for your future.