One of the toughest challenges I’m facing right now is underestimating how long a task will take and then having to push back every other task I have waiting. This causes stress and a sense of being overwhelmed for me and a bad experience for my clients.

I can see how this is one big reason why consultants will complain when an item isn’t in a project’s scope. Adding another item doesn’t just affect this project but it ripples through everything else. But I don’t like the idea of telling a client that something isn’t in scope. It results in bad customer service, a tense relationship, and a worse project. Pushing every project back is the lesser of those two bad places to be.

I think the key is slack. Leaving more white space and free time in the calendar than you think you would need to. I’m not great at this because I want to say yes to everything, but I’m going to have to do it. I’m also toying around with potential technological solutions for keeping track of scheduled time and that white space. I think setting firm boundaries on my time in software might help me stick to it.