“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.” – Bill Gates
The works on a smaller scale as well. People often plan more than they can possibly manage to do in a day, but then underestimate what they can do in a week or month. This is due to our poor natural ability to predict how much time a task will take to complete so we calculate that we could complete more tasks. On the other side, we fail to take into account The compound effect which leads to incredible results in the long run (even if we don’t complete as many tasks).
Improving our day to day predictions
Two time management techniques can help us avoid overestimating what we can do day to day.
- the big rocks system where we set only three main tasks to complete
- Estimating the time of tasks before we attempt a task, and then time tracking to evaluate our predictions so we can improve our predictions in the long run.
Making the most of the compound effect
Understanding the compound effect should encourage us to focus on regular small actions (or Atomic Habits) that we regularly do and provide these compound benefits. If we do that, we can gain the long term benefits of tiny actions.