Professionals tend to run on one of two mindsets for time management.
Magical thinking time. Magical thinking time is constructing a timeline for a plan assuming that nothing will go wrong. This schedule assumes there’s no learning curve, no curve balls, and no mistakes. This kind of scheduling is bound to force the project team to work during their discretionary hours and overrun the budget. I’m afflicted by magical thinking time planning every once in a while.
Buffered time. Buffered time is the school of thought that it’s better to be calm than frantic. Instead of maximizing every second, with buffered time we build in…. well, buffers. If it takes 10 minutes to get to the bank, another 10 to get to an appointment, we leave 30 minutes before giving ourselves a 10-minute buffer. (Using magical thinking we would only give ourselves 20 minutes or less). With a buffered time planning approach the project team has the time to be more thoughtful and organized. They may be less stressed, and they have a better chance of keeping their deadline and budget promises. I aspire to the buffered method of time planning and even manage to achieve it now and then.
When life and work become busier, you might find yourself slipping into using magical thinking time more often. If you start seeing this pattern try adopting a habit of using buffered time instead.