If you do not have a good sense of how long it takes to accomplish your work you will soon be frustrated by either not having enough time to get things done or having more time than you need without the resources to move on to other tasks.
For this reason in is important to develop one’s sense of time. I accomplish this in a number of different ways:
- I Track the time I spend working. This gives me a general sense of how much time I spend on my regular tasks. Using a time tracker I discovered how little of my day was actually on task and what I spend my time on.
- I set a specific time period to work on one task. The evidence is that we don’t multitask very well. Focusing on one task at a time concentrates our energy and often leads to greater productivity. One system that aims to help you with this is the Pomodoro Technique.
- I turn off my email. As soon as a message flashes across my screen my first urge is to answer it. Even if I choose not to, my focus has been broken and I need to spend time returning my attention to what I was working on. There are times when you need to be instantly accessible but most of the time an email can wait an hour or two before you answer it. It is hard to estimate how long a task takes if you are constantly being interrupted.
This ideas are only scratching the surface. For much more information I recommended taking a look at How to Hone the Accuracy of Your Internal Clock and Better Understand Your Time on Lifehacker.