Simple truths are universal. And simple truths are obvious. This one is almost too simple to state, but not bringing it up at times would be a shame.
The B-word is Buffer.
You can guess that I am not talking about the app, but about the concept of buffers.
It is an old and universal concept to save some extra resources “for just in case”. It doesn’t mean you are a pessimist or an under-achiever if you plan for the unexpected. You are a smart realist, because you know things never go as planned.
You probably think while reading this “Of course, every kid knows that”. Knowing and doing are commonly two things, and I admit I often suffer under the superman delusion myself. Those are the moments when I think I can do everything, all the time, with 100% efficiency. Well, I cannot.
Do you know how you guarantee a stressful commute? Leave five minutes too late.
It is an old time-management trick to schedule buffer zones after meetings. In case they take longer or to leave time slots for unexpected events. Another trick is to schedule a task with twice the amount of time you think it will take you. So you that to have a buffer if you are not as fast as you think.
However, buffers are much more than just time management hacks. In fact, buffers are used everywhere (check Wikipedia), because they guarantee for safety and thus peace of mind. Buffers also come in other forms, as emergency funds, insurances, and retirement plans.
These are all very important and not to ignore. However, a big impact on your well being also has the decision whether you allow yourself buffers on a daily basis or not. Again, it is a mindset.
I know it is so simple that it is stupid. But you can rush every day to work and start the day totally stressed out or you can get up 15 minutes earlier and have a relaxed start. All you need to sacrifice for that is 15 minutes sleep.
Yes, buffers require sacrifices. They require the gut to convince yourself and others that you need them. Not only for breakfast.
“Hey, what can go wrong?”
“What do you mean, you don’t know?”
Yes, it is hard to admit that you cannot be 100% in control of everything.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, buffers make sure that you are ahead of the game instead of losing the race every day. Well, a race that you lost before you even started if you ignore the realities of life.
It is not just about time. Think about it!
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This is Quick Tip No 29