Unexpected benefits of estimations

Tue May 31 2022

I yet have to meet a developer that likes doing estimations. And don't get me started on sticking with them.

I get that they are necessary for management to make plans but that does not mean I have to like them or enjoy doing them. No matter how hard I try my estimations are never correct.

I've been using the three-point estimation technique lately.

Did you know you can use the estimation to jump-start and beat procrastination? No? Read on. You did? Well, why didn't you share it with me?

What is procrastination?

"Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline."

Why? I'll leave that up to you as each of us have a large number of different reasons for it.

In some cases, reasons for the procrastination can be because we don't know how to do something or even what needs to be done. Or we are intimidated by the size of the task in front of us. And this is where estimation kicks in!

How estimation can help?

Well, when doing an estimation you'll have to get all information on what it is that you are building. You'll have to fill all missing gaps and deal with all ambiguous requirements.

You'll split a large task into smaller manageable pieces. And you'll be able to procrastinate over a large number of smaller tasks.

By doing that, the task will be manageable and our motivation will slightly improve.

Additional benefits

Usually, the best cure for procrastination is to just start working. Doing as small a chunk of work as possible. Guess what? By doing the estimation you've done exactly that! You've started working on your task. And now nobody can stop you.

Not only that, but by providing the estimation number you'll be "going public" with it and now a much larger audience could "hold you accountable".

This article is a part of my personal pledge to write at least one article per month for a whole year. As you can see, I've written this article on the last day of May which means that I'm struggling with procrastination as well so if you know any good tips please let me know!

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