Everything always takes more time than you expect
I’m quite optimistic usually. But I can be cautiously optimistic as well. From experience I know a lot of things always takes much much longer than you plan for. But I’m optimistic at the same time so I want things to go faster.
Sometimes that is bad, and sometimes it can be good to stress things a bit.
If you always plan for things taking so much longer, you won’t get disappointed. But time fills up by itself in some way.
So if you say to someone you have three months to do this it will probably take three months. If you say 1 month but in reality there is more work than that it might take 2 months instead.
But it’s a balance thing. You don’t want to be stupid about it either.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.“Andy Warhol
I think a good way to approach it is to think of the span of when something can be completed. Say 1-3 months. Then take the average which is 2 months. What you communicate is then 1.5 months but in the back of your mind you know it will probably take 2 months and in the worst case 3 months.
That way you can juggle all stakeholders, customers and partners possible involved that rely on your plan.
Be realistic about your optimistic time estimates.
Also read about How I charge for projects – there you really need to be careful about estimates.