TIME LOSS: PART 1 OF A 7-PART SERIES ON HOW FALSE TIME ESTIMATES WRECK OUR DAILY LIVES.
FALSE ETAs–ESTIMATED TIMES OF ARRIVAL –DRIVE US NUTS!
(AIRLINES OR DRIVING TIMES ARE THE WORST)
This will change your perception of time estimates and reduce frustration!
We’ve all been given wrong information on how much time it takes to do anything. “they” want to sell us something and we buy their promises, wanting to believe what they tell us because we want to plan our day properly.
We form expectations based on what people tell us will be the length of time we have to do a thing. They’re usually wrong so we are disappointed.
We are stressed enough in life for all the usual reasons.
I’m not going to list them. You already know what they are.
Time management is a huge problem for all of us as it is; we don’t need to be jerked around.
The “system” frustrates us, costs us money and time (which is more valuable) and annoys the hell out of us.
I’ll show you how it happens and how you can beat the sytem in this six-part series.
THE “SYSTEM” CONSPIRES AGAINST US THREE WAYS
1. The system conspires to steal hours you thought you had.
You thought that when the repairman said he’d be there tomorrow at 10 a.m. to fix the furnace, he’d be there.
Maybe later that day? Maybe next week? Maybe he never arrived at all and then you went through the whole process again. Finding a company, getting them to say when they’d come. Took more time off work didn’t you? (Unpaid, right?)
You did this because you thought the price you paid (missing work, losing that money as well as the dough for the furnace repair) was worth it to get the furnace fixed so your family wouldn’t be cold that night. (Ha ha.)
2. The system conspires to cheat you of the hours you think you have.
Today, you have to go to that medical appointment. You’re planning the drive, got someone to mind the children. You’ll have just enough time (after the appointment) to buy the groceries and get home to make dinner before the baby sitter has to go to baseball practice.
3. The system conspires to cheat you of hours you think you will have.
You think that when your plane lands in London (or Atlanta or Toronto) that you will have plenty of leeway to make your connecting flight. You think that because “they,” (the airlines) said (well, OK, the schedule indicated and when you called to confirm the agent said) that you would make the connection, no problem.
Nope. Not even close. How’s that overnight at the Atlanta airport you’ve always wanted, looking?
(I’ll return to these examples later in the series.)
WHY DO WE BELIEVE WHAT THEY TELL US?
Why do we think this time it’ll be different?
Because we WANT TO Believe!
We’re like children. We want to plan and believe. Then we hope.
(It‘s like golf: Hope and fear! We hope we hit the ball well. We fear we won’t! We hope they’re right about the time–we fear they’re lying!)
(Granted, sometimes things work out. Like with computers. Great when all systems are go. Frequently they aren’t go, though, they’re stopped. And so are we.) That’s true too with time estimates by others. Or, to be fair, often by ourselves.
Face it, we get faked out a lot.
If you are over eight years old and you think life is fair you haven’t been paying attention.
But we are complicit in this. We help them fool us. We have to stop that!
The only way to get a grip on this is to take a realistic look at how long it takes to do a thing.
And the only way to do that is by a detailed analysis of how and why things go wrong in the doing of a particular thing.
The system is nothing more than people misleading us about time estimates because
- they are trying to be ‘nice” to us so we’ll hurry up and buy their product.
- they are trying to ease our anxieties so we’ll… etc.
- they haven’t a clue how long it’ll take and they don’t want to say that (see above).
- they know it’ll take longer but they figure this way they’ll get the sale.
- they could care less.
- it’s not in their job description.
- they don’t know and they won’t ask someone who does.
- they’re lying.
Really, if we never take the opportunity to examine the whole idea of Time and its effect on us–it will continue dominate us, mostly negatively, and we won’t be able to do a darn thing about it.
But we CAN analyze it and we can DO something about it!
If you have problems with time management, join me on Self-Knowledge College
Next: TIME LOSS, Part 2: False Time Estimates. We never know the real time to takes to do anything!